What’s in a secret message? Whatever you want it to be. Now you can hide a secret message in a digital photo.
PicSecret is cool and geeky and might be a solution to that nagging problem you don’t have.
In this age of instant communication via the internet, we’re sending messages left and right and never worry much about where they land.
We assume our private email stays private, but it may not; particularly for Windows PC users. It doesn’t take much more than a click or two to forward any message any where.
Yesterday I ran across one of those nifty neato Mac utilities that you love to play around with but can’t really figure out a use for? Is that enough loose prepositions?
PicSecret lets you put messages inside digital photos. Why in God’s Green Acres (may Zsa Zsa’s sister rest in peace) would you want to do that?
OK, I don’t really have an answer, but it’s a fun exercise in freeware futility. Once you’ve tried it, if you can find a good reason to keep using PicSecret, report back to the Mac360 crowd.
First, download PicSecret, drop it on your desktop or in your Mac’s appllication folder.
Double click to launch. What you get next is an exercise in utter simplicity.
Second, click the Encode A Message In An Image button. The resulting dialog box lets you search for an image or photo on your Mac.
Once you load an image into PicSecret, you’re prompted to enter a message. There’s a limit to the length of the message but PicSecret displays how much.
You may elect to add a password which you can pass along to whomever receives your image. You may also select the image or photo file output format, such as bitmap, jpg, png, or tiff.
Then, adjust the encoding strength and click the Save Encoded Image button. You just embedded a secret message in the image or photo.
Send the image to a friend, have them download PicSecret (or, save them the trouble and email it to them) so they can use it to decode the secret message you placed in the image or photo.
Still with me? There’s actually a name for this kind of activity. It’s called Steganography, which is a form of communication where the message is not publicly known.
Similar applications place hidden messages inside computer files, email messages, sound clips, and so on. PicSecret actually encodes the message by altering visible parts of the image’s file data.
Aren’t you glad you know all about this nifty neato way to encode a secret message in a digital photo? What good will this do other than set off alarms at the Department of Homeland Security? Sure, they read Mac360.
If you can figure out a good reason to embed a secret message in a digital image or photo, we’ll send you an original copy of the Hawaii photo above. Share your perspective in the Comments section below.