Internet vault with built-in data inheritance

DataInherit, a new online data storage service with built-in data inheritance has been offered by DSwiss AG, a Swiss bank for information assets owned partly by Avantec.

DataInherit preserves basically any kind of information and it’s particularly suitable for things like passwords and access codes, financial and health data, contracts, insurance policies, your personal work, etc.

The idea is that in circumstances you specify, a person you trust can enter the activation code you gave them for safekeeping into the DSwiss AG website, thereby initiating the data inheritance procedure.

If the sequence is not halted by the client, the data is made accessible to the designated beneficiaries, who have to download the data within 90 days – after that period, the data is deleted permanently (the account is closed).

“We believe that digital inheritance will gain ever more importance in the future and decided to include data inheritance from the very beginning into our datasafe solution,” said DSwiss AG CTO Tobias Christen in a talk with Help Net Security. “We know that the average user has enormous difficulty coping with key-management, backup-management, and security in general and, as a consequence, we put a lot of effort into building a service that is as easy to use as any other service but significantly more secure.”

Since Help Net Security readers are certainly concerned with the privacy of their information, we asked Mr. Christen if DataInherit would ever share information about data on their servers like certain Swiss banks did recently with the US. He replied that “Even if DataInherit were forced to provide our servers to the US Government, the servers would only contain encrypted (AES-256) customer files or passwords. And we believe in the strength of our cryptographic solution.”

A walkthrough of DataInherit’s solution

You access your account through a Web browser. After typing in your username and password, you are taken to a Flash interface:

There are 3 main tabs: File Safe, Password Safe and Data Inheritance.

In the File Safe, you store your files by simply clicking on the Upload button and choosing the file you want uploaded. Once the file is uploaded, you can download it anytime, copy it, rename it or delete it (it goes in the Trash folder, so for definitive deletion you have to empty it).

In the Password Safe you can store your passwords:

In the Data Inheritance tab you get to choose who will be the beneficiary of the data you saved and you can access and edit information lice contact data and activator code:

In the upper right corner of the interface there is a slide button you have to put in the ON position so you can access the Data Inheritance option.

Adding a beneficiary:

You can also write a personal letter to be included when they send the beneficiary the information.

After adding at least one beneficiary, you can determine which files will go to him/her in case something happens to you. Other files can be given to other beneficiaries (or not delivered at all – simply deleted).

In the Preferences, among other things, you can adjust the authentication method and check out your account recovery code.

If you’re interested in the service, you can sign up for a free trial account here.

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