Sfletter Reviews

Sfletter.com Review

Review by Yakioto
about Sfletter Mar 2015

We all have accustomed to using such email services as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and many other popular services. Needless to say, most of them provide a great level of security, but…

Sometimes there are moments in our life (work related, or personal), when it’s very important to send a fully confidential email, which means that the email has to be secured to such a level, that it would be impossible to:
• read the email, in case of interception;
• forward or open it on another computer;
• print;
• open on a mobile device;
• save the attachments from the email and open it.

Regardless of their intentions, many people are in need of a service like this but simply do not know where to find it.

Today, we are going to tell you more about this type of service, which can conveniently and qualitatively do everything has been listed above.

SFletter — secure email service with encryption function.

Recently we have found SFLetter; a pretty simple service, which is open to the public for free. Sometimes free and simple means bad and uncomfortable, but not in this case. Email interface of SFLetter is made on the basis of Roundcube. For those who are familiar with Roundcube know how simple and easy the service is to navigate.

We have shown in the list mentioned above what SFLetter can do. In order to open the email, the person who receives it doesn’t need to register with SFLetter. They can be using any other email service. But currently, protected documents attached within the encrypted email can only be opened using a software on Windows (sorry Linux and Mac users :( ).

What should be brought to your attention - protection from accidental or special forwarding, i.e. the third party cannot get the key to decrypt the document, and an unsuccessful attempt to read the protected document will be recorded in the log of actions available to the sender.

Apart from that, time of each action as well as IP-address of the computer is logged. Logs are available to every sender, and could be viewed under special selection in “Sent” folder.

All other necessary information can be found in the FAQ section of the website. We will just show step by step registration procedure, introduce some of the settings as well as give more information about using SFLetter service.

Registration on SFLetter

Traditionally, we have to start from the registration. In order to register, you need to visit the website (no surprise :)).

As you can see all the points you need to fill in are standard. For registration you need to have an email account somewhere else in order to verify your new account, and to restore the password in case you will lose it. When you are done with the filling of those points, check your alternative email which has the verification link. Once you click on it, you are done with registration and you can start using all the features of SFLetter email service.

The design of the email service is concise and appealing, which straight away shows the awesomeness of SFLetter.

SFLetter secure email service settings

The overall look is good, but let’s look at the settings to understand the inside part of this email service. Settings are located on the main page:

The first thing to do — change the password (just in case). The entire process is as usual. There are lots of articles available on the web about the security of your passwords.

Settings contain different tabs: “User Interface”, “Mailbox View”, “Displaying Messages”, “Composing Messages”, “Address Book”, “Special Folders” and “Server Settings”:

Let’s go from the beginning. Don’t forget to click “Save” after every change

The mailbox view tab is pretty straight forward. There is a minimum amount of settings and nothing which could be considered as unnecessary. We would recommend to tick the box “Show preview pane”, which makes reading new messages more convenient, without the need to click the actual email. Similarly it’s made in a well-known email software Thunderbird. All other settings I think everyone can easily choose by themselves, gladly everything is straightforward.

Again, everything is straightforward, just change the character set if you will receive/write emails on a language different from English.

Next tab is “Composing Messages”. As you can see there are loads of suboptions. Settings will vary depending on the user. You can tick the box “Check spelling before sending a message”, which is a useful tool. It is annoying to receive the email where half of the message is filled signatures, so tick the box “When replying remove original signature from the message”. It could be useful to “start new message below the quote”, but it also depends from the personal preferences of each user. In addition, we would recommend to tick the box “Use MIME encoding for 8-bit characters”, just in case.

In “Address Book” most of you should be familiar with the contents and it is better to leave everything by default. With regard to the “Special Folders”, it is always useful to have different folders, like “Work”, “Invoices” etc, which could in future help to find the necessary conversation.

And finally, we are left with “Server Settings”:

To be honest, the name of this tab is much simpler than it sounds, as here you can meet the options which could be even in “Composing Settings” tab, but if they are here, then please pick the options which you prefer or simply put the same ticks, as on the screenshot above.

Using SFLetter email service

After finishing with the settings, we can confidentally start using SFLetter at its fullest by clicking on “Mail” in the menu.

Let’s compose our first protected email, by clicking the following button:

First, we have to tick the box “Protect the attachments” and “Protect the email body” and then write your message and insert the file you want to be encrypted. Unfortunately, at the moment of writing, SFLetter can only encrypt .PDF and .JPEG files which are less than 5MB in size.

Where could that be used? What can be protected, considering the current limitations of this service? Trivially, any price list or some kind of list of suppliers, anything which you don’t want to leak from your email. In general, application of this service can be found.

After filling all the necessary fields, click “Send” and now let’s see what the recipient will find in his email.

Hello,

This message contains a protected document(s). You need special viewer to read the document. You can download the viewer here: https://sfletter.com/PCDocReaderSetup.msi

Install the viewer (contact your system administrator if necessary) and open the attached document.

Administrator privileges are required to install the viewer on Windows Vista or higher. You need administrator privileges for Windows XP only if you want to install the viewer to the Program Files folder.

If you have the viewer already installed but have problems opening the document, try to download the more recent version of the viewer from the link above and install it.

The next step is knowing how to open the encrypted message. As the received email states, we need to download a special software called PCDoc Reader. Just follow the instructions as usual (don’t forget that you need to have administrative rights in order to install the software onto your computer).

All we need to do after successful installation is launch the software and go to “File — Open” in order to open the encrypted files (both the attachment and the message itself).

All works fine. Now we can check the “Opening History” of our message.

We tried to open the file several times from the same IP, but different system. But the file did not open because of the fact that the licenses have expired. Let's look at the history of access:

It can be clearly seen when the email was first opened with IP-address and Result. You can also see the email of recipient who, for example, leaked your message.
That’s about it!

Epilogue

Such an interesting email service.

Yes, it has it downsides, but there are a lot more positive aspects of the service. It is secure, easy to use, the design is simple and clear and the overall look is appealing, so we can proudly recommend it to the people who want to find a secure email service.

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