Security and privacy are the foremost concerns for most of us today regarding our personal information and data. We would do anything to keep our most valuable information or data secured from unauthorised access.
As technology continues to evolve and advance, the opportunity for systems with greater privacy and security controls also increases. It is, therefore, undoubtedly imperative to continue the development of applications and online storage facilities that will store your information and data in the most secure environments. The goal for Haystack was a solution that would allow for permission controlled sharing, while keeping private and confidential data from getting leaked and mishandled.
As a disruptor to the industry, Haystack is the first to combined data storage and messaging in a single application and secondly, built this storage of data on a Zero Knowledge platform, the ultimate in privacy and security. Let’s take a look at some of the features and functions in the Haystack.it Mobile App.
After downloading the Haystack.it Mobile App, the first step is the registration process followed by the login process. Both processes have a few simple steps to follow similar to most apps. Let’s take a look at the steps involved in the registration process first.
Enter your email id. Haystack will check to see if it is registered. If not, Haystack will then send a password/ OTP to it along will some additional new user useful information.
Enter the password/ OTP to complete the registration. The password will remain valid for a certain period of time.
Upon successfully logging into the Haystack.it Mobile Application, simply follow the prompts.
Let’s take a look at the second process now.
After registration, upon entering the app, you will be asked to create a User ID as well as an Icon Code and Web Code for Android devices.
User ID: This is your Haystack ID, which represents you in chatting and file sharing. To connect with others, you will need to share you ID offline to allow another user to then send you a connection request. There is no searching of users. You connect with only those you desire.
Icon Code: For Android devices, you have to ability to hide the app icon from screen view for additional privacy. This code when entered into the keypad, fetches the icon and the Haystack login screen for your access.
Web Code: For Android devices, you are able to create a Web Code to :
1- Access the hidden icon and login screen from a browser on Tablets
2- Access the hidden icon and login screen from the browser on a mobile phone should you forget your Icon Code.
After these steps, you can enter the Haystack application. As a suggestion, go to Settings and set your “Inactive Timeout”, which logs you out after a set time. Then set your “Send Password” choice. There are 3 options (on most devices) to include receiving your password via “email”, “Phone” via OTP as a SMS or you can select “Touch ID” for fingerprint verification access. Lastly, consider setting how you want your chat conversations handled – Synced or Destroyed after logout.
Haystack uses Zero Knowledge cryptography to store user information in the encrypted form in the database. This will secure the information saved and there will be no way that any unauthorised individual will identify the user or access the stored information.
This mobile application maintains two file naming conventions for the user files, one is the name given by the user for viewing purpose and the other is a system generated name by which the file is saved on the server. For example, if a user is storing a file named ‘phonenumbers.doc’ the file will be stored in this name for the user’s viewing and searching purpose only. This file will be stored on the server under a different name that will be totally system generated. Thus, saving the actual content in a different location and under a different name to provide complete security of the stored material.
After the registration and login procedures, you are able to use the app and explore its features. To help navigate the main features of the app, here are a few screenshots for reference.
After entering the app, you will be able to make a profile and add optional information like Name, Number, Mood, About Me, Time Zone and Online Status all of which is encrypted on our servers and only viewable by you and those you connect with; and even this information can be shown or hidden based on your preference.
Here your data can be sorted in the categories provided such as Photos, Audio, Video, SMS, Password Manager and Address Book.
Using the Password Manager you can store information for website accounts, email accounts, etc. Also, you can create separate fields under these categories to store additional information.
In the Address Book, you can transfer your most private or important contacts that you may choose not to store or maintain under your device contact list and you are able to add new contacts manually. Calls can be placed directly from your contact’s profile.
Here you are able to connect with other users via Haystack Connection Requests. This is done through the use of your Haystack ID and NOT you mobile number. No one can search your ID and requests can be accepted or rejected. Once you are connected with another user, you can view that user’s profile information based on what information that user elects to make visible. With each connection, you can chat with or shared highly secured files via 2-step verification.
In this screen, you are able to text chat with your Haystack Connections. You can also send files like, images, audios, videos, txts, docs, PDFs, etc. With chat, you have an option to keep or destroy your chat history. Upon selecting the ‘S’ button for synchronization, your chat history will remain in your account synced across all your devices. If you select the ‘D’ button, your chats will be Destroyed (“deleted”) from your device and the device of the user(s) you had chat converstaions with as well. At any point during or after a chat conversation you also have the option to delete any text or shared files on the conversation screen by tapping the text or file or by going to your Chat Files and selecting delete. This will immediately delete the information from both device screens.
You can also create groups and add members for group conversations.
One of the unique features of Haystack is the functionality that enables you to share/receive files with your Haystack Connections using a two step verification process. In this process, a verification code will be provided for you to enter along with your registered email id to complete the verification process. Only after this, will you be able to view a shared file. You always have the option to accept or reject a share.
As the “Sharer” of a file, you will maintain full control over the file by giving/removing permissions such as downloading and re-sharing or at any point you can delete the file from the device of the person you shared it with and any persons they may have shared it with, if such permissions were previously granted.
The Haystack.it Mobile App has many more useful features and will continue to add more. Please enjoy the app as well as provide feedback to help us continue to improve your experience, privacy and security.