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Shield against Net prying eyes

New Delhi, May 26: The next time you receive a confidential e-mail attachment, use SafeDesk software to ensure it is for your eyes only.

SafeScrypt, the country’s first licensed certifying authority, today launched the software that helps use digital signature to ensure privacy online.

The software allows a personal-computer (PC) user to digitally sign, certify and store any file on his PC and exchange the information over the Internet.

The data on the hard disk will be safe from hackers as a digital signature is not a photocopy of your signature on paper, but a complex set of numbers and alphabets (algorithms) assigned to you in a compact form.

Digital signatures are on a par with physical signatures and, as a result, legally valid in any court of law.

With SafeDesk, digital signatures will be easy to obtain and free from the hassles of installing the basic software to activate the signature.

A digital signature can be secured from a certifying authority at Rs 1,000 a year. A secure key, it ensures a mail attachment sent to a person cannot be viewed without the receiver using his own digital signature.

So when the receiver of the mail tries to open the attachment, the software compares the set of numbers and alphabets with that in his signature before opening it.

SafeScrypt, a joint venture between the US-based VeriSign and Satyam Infoway Ltd, will soon bundle this product with the computers sold by IBM, HCL, HP, Compaq and some others.

“We are in advanced stage of negotiations with about 10 PC vendors and will soon be able to bundle this software, using which the PC owner can procure the digital certificate and use this for digital signature,” SafeScrypt Ltd managing director K. Dasaratharaman said.

The software, priced at Rs 3,000-3,500, will be available through the firm’s 100-strong retail chain in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.

There are plans to offer two or more digital signatures for Rs 1,000 so that one person can use these for his mobile phone, laptop and desktop.

For now, a single user has to obtain separate digital signatures for two or more computers or laptop or any other communication device.

SafeScrypt also launched SafeExim, aimed at the export-import segment. The product helps business houses, both big and small, apply for an export-import licence online and digitally sign requests on the website of the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

“We have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the DGFT to equip their offices and departments to use digital signatures for transactions carried out electronically. DGFT is also planning to issue licences online,” SafeScrypt general manager of sales Anupam Shukla said.

The company has joined hands with Anna University and Indira Gandhi National Open University to offer certificates and degrees online, which students can send online while applying for further studies or jobs.

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