How Self-Destructing Messages Work

has become essential in a world where computer devices can produce an infinite number of copies of something long after its publication. Here, we’ll explore this concept and how can help you. Self Destruct Images

Technology has made great strides in ensuring that online communication is genuinely private. For the longest time, end-to-end encryption has become one of the greatest selling points for internet-based companies.

However, since the mid-2010s, we have seen another advancement in the form of self-destructing messages. We have little control over our online data. No one wants any broadcasted copies of their conversations and content once they’ve viewed them.

So, this is where a self-destructing text message tool like Duckist comes into play.

Self-destructing messages and why they matter

A self-destructing message is a feature found in an increasing number of messenger and email applications that ensures no conversation record exists after a set period. The texting system automatically removes the content once seen by the intended recipient.

This shelf life could be a few minutes to a few weeks, depending on the platform being used and other settings. With self-deleting texts, no trace of a message will exist on the devices of the sender, receiver, and those administering the app.

The first obvious benefit to the self-destruction of online content is privacy. It offers extra security, which is crucial for organizations exchanging valuable information regularly. Another benefit is that it saves data for instant messaging services and the ordinary person.

In the following sections, we’ll go through each of these in more detail.

Why do people use self-destructing messaging?

Our online activity is heavily tracked nowadays. When you share messages and other data, it becomes easy for unwanted individuals on the net to make copies of it even after its initial broadcast.

People exchange many sensitive things online: names, addresses, ID numbers, locations, passwords, banking details, business ideas, and voice notes, to name a few. No one wants this information in the wrong hands, whether you’re an individual or a corporation.

So, a self-destructing message can safeguard and prevent the future distribution of private data once accessed. This feature can also help in situations where you want to hide implicating evidence.

Here are a few examples: a messy breakup with legal proceedings, a secret organization communicating about internal matters, gossip. Ultimately, while you may not have anything to hide, privacy remains a human right.

How are ephemeral messages sent?

End-to-end encryption is a crucial component of all ephemeral messaging. Ordinarily, when a message is encrypted, no one else (even the service provider) can read it other than the two or more desired communicators.

End-to-end encryption also uses asymmetric cryptography, where the data transfer has a public decryption key and private encryption key. So, with self-destruction, the technology is designed to render both keys useless after a certain period of receiving the content.

This means you cannot keep evidence or transfer the conversation to another contact. Some apps take it a step further by preventing users from taking screenshots. Still, someone could use another camera or phone to snap a picture (but provided this is done before the message eventually self-destructs).

Do secret conversations delete themselves?

No, unless an application is designed to delete your conversations automatically. Most services will not have self-destructing text messages by default. It is up to the user to include this setting whenever they feel it’s necessary.

How to send a self destructing text message?

This will depend if the app in question has the feature or not. Usually, you can implement self destruction by default or only use it in specific conversations. Some apps may alternatively create a ‘secret chat’ mode that you can assign to selected contacts.

Also, in many cases, you can decide how long you want the content to be readable (ranging from seconds to weeks). A timer might appear on your screen, counting how long the message will be live before it disappears.

Benefits of self-destructing text message and file sharing apps

Built-in encryption and security

The best self destructing message apps will have strong encryption. Due to encryption, you are certain that no one else, other than you and the receiver, is accessing your content.

Additionally, self-destruction ensures no lasting trail of your messages, protecting your data against any prying eyes.

Aside from encryption, self-destructing communication is an excellent deterrent to hackers. For instance, if a message is designed to expire after a limited time, it makes it less attractive for someone to compromise it.

While still possible, the breacher would have to be quick, which may be challenging.

Enhanced confidentiality for individuals and businesses

As already mentioned, self-destruction is the ultimate form of privacy in online communication. This mechanism makes it challenging for anyone to make copies of your conversations and content.

Businesses can also experience similar benefits. In recent years, companies in many countries have adopted the ‘bring your own device’ policy. Here, employees can bring their own devices for work-related stuff like emails and using the businesses’ apps.

However, no firm wants its data to live on employees' devices for long as it comes with security risks. So, in the quest to avoid a costly breach, self-destruction can be a lifesaver.

General data saving

This goes for ordinary folk and companies. If the messages and other content you receive have a short lifespan, you don’t store as much data on your device. Because it gets deleted, it means less clutter.

Studies have shown that corporations spend millions to retain historic information annually, much of which is non-essential and has little value.

Lower e-discovery costs

In civil litigations or legal proceedings, self-destruction can reduce the significant data volume. With less information to store, it means fewer expenses. Over-collection is a big problem in this industry.

This costs law firms tens of dollars extra per hour because of the work to process and review the data. Similar to corporations, lawyers may seek to collect too much data that is not useful.

Why Duckist is an excellent self-destructing text message and file sharing tool

Duckist’s primary goal is to make sharing passwords and other secret messages and files easy and free. Here, you don’t need to sign up for a service with your personal info or download some space-consuming app on your device.

Duckist has automatic end-to-end encryption for your text messages, images, and files. Not even their servers can access your data while in transit - this goes for anyone else. What’s more, Duckist has a self-destructing feature where the receiver can only view the content once before their link expires.

With an elegant interface, you can also set up encrypted chat rooms, which are helpful in businesses or other collaborative environments. Here, you can add an unlimited number of people to the conversation using a link.

You can also decide after how long the messages should expire, whether one minute, day or month.

How to send self-destructing texts or emails with Duckist?

  1. Firstly, type ‘’ on your browser.

  2. Write the message or upload the content you want the other person to receive.

  3. Duckist encrypts the data with a one-time access link you can share with the recipient. This prevents even Duckist’s team from accessing your material.

  4. Once the recipient has viewed the content, the link self-destructs to prevent unauthorized access. Even if someone used it, they wouldn’t be able to reveal what was inside. Instead, Duckist responds with, “Sorry, this secret message has already been viewed. You can only view the contents of this link once.”


In today’s digital age, where so-called private content and messages can go viral, no one wants to leave a trace of evidence. You don’t need to be a top-secret agent to use ephemeral communication.

Ultimately, we never know who lurks through and behind the devices we use to chat and exchange data. Thankfully, there are special tools that understand this and ought to provide the most seamless experience to self-destructing messages on the market.