Places Security Guide

Our end-to-end encryption ensures privacy for any communication or sending, storing and receiving information. However, for your total security we offer the following advice.

Password Strength & Password Hygiene

Places is accessed with a password you create when you sign up to Places. It is of upmost importance that this password is strong, unique to Places (i.e. not the same password you use for other services) and changed regularly.

Secure Your Terminal

Passwords & Encryption

The terminal (PC, Mac, Android Device etc.) you use to access Places needs to be secure. This includes things like strong password protection and encryption of your hard drive/flash storage. Places needs to store content locally to allow you to access it as your private encryption key is stored on your device. This means it stays encrypted until it arrives on your device. If your terminal is compromised this data could be accessed in its unencrypted form.

Virus, Spyware etc.

It is important to use antivirus software on your terminal to help prevent infection which could lead to a system compromise. It is also essential your virus protection is kept up-to-date at all times. There is no way to guarantee against infection, but using reputable and updated virus protection software will certainly help. Places stores content locally on your terminal so if your terminal is compromised this data could be accessed in its unencrypted form.

Use the “Fingerprint”

Every user on Places has a unique string of characters associated with their account. We call this their fingerprint. When adding contacts with Places, to ensure the account belongs to the person you think it does make sure the fingerprint is correct.

Here’s how it works: Ricky wants to add Julien as a contact on Places. Julien sends Ricky his fingerprint (in a secure way). Now that Ricky has Julien’s fingerprint, when he searches for him on Places he can make sure the fingerprint shown matches the one Julien sent him, thus ensuring Julien on Places is the real Julien.
This can also be done using a trusted 3rd party. Here’s how it works: Ricky wants to add Julien as a contact on Places but they don’t know each other. Ricky and Julien both know Jim (the trusted 3rd party) Ricky asks Julien for some unique identifiable information, Ricky then asks Jim for this information. If the information matches and both parties trust Jim, Ricky knows Julien on Places is the real Julien.

Don’t Do Something Stupid

Just like in the real world keeping yourself secure is a lot down to general awareness and common sense. Phishing & social hacking can often be avoided by simply being careful, whether it’s in disclosing passwords, following suspicious links in emails or anything else.