Places FAQ

What is a place?

Think of a place like you would a folder. Everything you put into the folder is encrypted and stored completely securely in the cloud. You and only you can access the unencrypted information (and even although you are using our servers, the encryption means that even we have absolutely no way of accessing what you have stored). You have control. This folder can be private or it can be shared with as many people as you choose.

How do I create a place?

Select the + icon from the upper left of the page to create a new place.

How do I add files to a place?

Open the place you with to upload files to. Select the upload icon from the upper right hand side of the application to browse files on your device or simply drag and drop!

How do I invite a contact?

To invite a contact you need to click on the “Contacts Panel” which is underneath the “Search” and “Notifications” panels which run horizontally on the far right of the application. You can search using their Places username if they already have Places or send an invitation by entering their email address if they don’t already use Places.

How do I delete files from a place?

Right click on a file and select delete. You will be given the option to delete the file from your local device but keep an encrypted version in the cloud or to delete both from your device and from the cloud.

How do I delete a place?

Select the place you wish to delete from the menu on the left hand. Click the cog icon and click delete. Note that although you delete the place, the people who are shared in that place can still access the files in it.

How do I add someone to a place?

Open the place you wish to add someone to by selecting it from the menu on the left hand side. Select the “Add Members” icon. You can then search your contact list and invite them to join your place. The invited member will then need to accept your invitation. Remember that the member needs to already be in your contact list before this is possible. If they are not already using places you can use the add contacts panel to send them an email invitation to join places.

How do I start a forum (group chat)?

A forum is available to anyone that is shared in a particular Place. Open the Place you wish to start a forum in by selecting it from the menu on the left hand side. You will see the option “forum” near the top of the page, below the name of the place. Click on it to start the forum.

How do I chat with a contact?

Select the contacts panel, which is on the far right of the screen. Select the contact you wish to chat with and then select the “Chat” speech bubble icon to open the chat window.

How do I Video/Audio call?

Select the contacts panel, which is on the far right of the screen. Select the contact you wish to Video/Audio call with then click on the icon to begin.

How do I share a file with someone directly?

Select the contacts panel, which is on the far right of the screen. Select the contact you wish to share a file with and click the paperclip icon to share directly with them without the need to open a place and invite them to join.

How my data encrypted?

Places, secures the way you communicate and share by using end-to-end encryption. This means everything that leaves your computer to the network (the Internet or Local Area Networks) is encrypted before being sent. It will only be decrypted when it reaches its final recipient(s), meaning no one (Places included) will be able to view the exchanged data.

We use a symmetrical encryption algorithm (AES 256) to encrypt and decrypt the content you send and receive. This kind of encryption requires an exchange of encryption keys (a digital “key” is a randomly generated string of characters) between you and the recipient. To be able to securely exchange those symmetrical keys, we use an asymmetrical encryption algorithm (RSA 2048).

Note that the files you use or receive are stored on your computer Unencrypted. This means you need to properly secure the physical access to both your device and your Places account (your account password). This local storage improves the speed of Places and allows you to access content offline.

Please see “Our Encryption Explained” if you want to know more.

Why do I need an App to create my Account?

The asymmetrical encryption used to exchange critical information (like the symmetrical keys that will secure your exchanges) requires that your private key stays private. This means that the pair of public/private keys need to be created locally in a way that no one can access them (not even us). The best means to do so is to use a client app that will generate the private key, and provide us with only your public one. This way everyone can send you data, but you and only you will be able to decrypt it. The private key will then remain on your device(s) and will never be stored anywhere else.

How can I trust the identity of a contact related to a contact request?

We provide several ways of checking a Places user identity. The most
common one is a unique alphanumeric string (named fingerprint) that is
bound to the user’s account. Checking this fingerprint with each of your
contacts before accepting to share with him into Places, guarantees their
identity.

Can my contacts still access the files in a place after I delete it?

When you remove a file from a place and its members receive the
information that this content has been deleted, the file is lost on
your and their devices.
However, Places works both online and offline. This means that when a file is
shared and synchronized between the members of a Place, they all retain
a local copy of this file. So if the information that the content has
been removed isn’t received by the members of a Place (let’s say they
synchronized the Place, disconnected from the network and never got
online afterwards), the content will not be removed from the device
and still be accessible while remaining offline. Although when the Place
synchronizes again (when a member comes online) the content will be removed from the member’s device.

Can the removed contact still access my files?

Locally yes, until they connects to Places again.

What happen if I re add a contact I previously removed?

If you re-add a contact it is the same as adding him for the first time. All contents will be synchronized from scratch.

How can I be sure that you cannot access my data?

Private keys are only stored on your device, never on our servers which means there is no way for us to decrypt anything you do in Places. Our software is also completely open source[1] which means you can inspect our code to ensure there are no backdoors. Being open source also means that our code is audited by the community and verified as safe.

[1] well it will be, as soon as we come out of beta