Suppose corporate needs your bank's routing and account numbers to get you set up for direct deposits. Or the IT department needs your password to upgrade or modify your account.
That's not the kind of information you typically want to share via email. Or instant message. Or even fax. Ideally, it's the kind of thing you'd write on a sticky note and hand directly to the person who needs it.
Of course, that's not always an option, meaning you need some kind of safe, electronic way to transmit sensitive information.
Enter OneShar.es, which lets you create a secure, self-destructing message for one recipient.
It works like this: You click the blue Create One Now button, then type or paste the information you want to share. You can choose to automatically "self-destruct" (i.e. delete) the message if it hasn't been viewed within a designated amount of time -- anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 days.
Next, click Create Link, then copy and paste that link into an email. When the recipient clicks it, he'll gain access to the private message -- an action that also self-destructs the link (meaning no one else can use it).
OneShar.es is free, easy to use, and incredibly handy. Ah, but is it secure? According to the OneShar.es About page, the service relies on SSL to encrypt the data between your browser and their servers, and keeps the data encrypted while it's stored. Once your message is viewed, it's deleted from the system.
Granted, there's still no guarantee your data will be kept private and secure, but the same is true of any information you share online. If you have misgivings about using OneShar.es, well, there's always the telephone. Personally, I think it looks like a much safer solution than email or IM.
By the way, if you're an iOS user, the 99-cent OneShar.es app lets you create self-destructing messages on the run.
Have you found a better way to share sensitive data? Tell me about it in the comments.