Company Offers Self-Destruct Video E-Mail - InformationWeek

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Company Offers Self-Destruct Video E-Mail

Customers can set a time for when e-mails sent to others are automatically deleted, including those messages forwarded by the recipients.

E-mail service provider BigString has extended to video attachments the self-destruct feature it offers for electronic messages.

The small company launched the new feature Friday, as part of its overall strategy of providing customers, both businesses and consumers, with as much control over their Internet communications as possible. "What you say today, you don't want to come back and haunt you tomorrow," said Adam Kotkin, chief operating officer for BigString.

BigString has offered self-destruct e-mail for a while. Customers can set a time for when e-mails sent to others are automatically deleted, including those messages forwarded by the recipients. Senders also can set the number of times a message can be read, and track who reads it and when.

While the same level of control was extended to most attachments, it didn't include video. To fix that, BigString embeds its own video viewer in e-mails. Through the viewer, the sender can exercise the same level of control to video as to text messages, Kotkin said. In addition, the video cannot be stored on a computer's hard drive.

BigString's service is an affordable option for small businesses looking to reduce liabilities that could arise from e-mail. The company's service also enables a manager to monitor all e-mail sent, received, or kept by employees. The majority of the company's business customers have 20 or fewer employees.

BigString's business service starts at $150 a month for 10 e-mail addresses. A customer can choose to use its own domain name. For consumers, the service is available at no charge, with 1 Gbyte of storage and the ability to send up to a five-minute video. A premium service is available for $30 a year with twice the storage and up to 30-minute video attachments.

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