Your Questions Answered…
1. When will COAST be available?
COAST will be available soon from authorised partners via a number of distribution channels including Amazon.com.
2. Where will it be available?
We are setting up partnership arrangements in the UK, Germany and USA initially. Other countries will follow.
3. How big is COAST?
COAST is just 5cm in length – truly a PC in your pocket! It is a high-quality 16GB USB3.0 memory stick pre-programmed with a suite of applications and proprietary configuration tools. (We only use 4GB for the software programs, leaving you with enough memory for around 5,000 images or many thousands of pages of text, all of which will be stored encrypted on the stick.)
4. How do I use COAST?
Very simply! You plug it into a USB port just like any other memory stick. After that you simply run the stick launcher and restart. To create a user ID and password you will be prompted to upload the authorisation code (voucher) provided with your purchase. The process takes a few minutes only and as soon as it is complete you will be able to use the customised dashboard built into the device to launch the applications.
5. Will COAST disrupt or slow other programs on my PC or laptop?
No. One of COAST’s unique features is that it borrows the functionality of the host computer but leaves no trace on its hard drive. COAST has no effect on your PC’s operating system or programs.
6. Can I switch between my regular desktop and COAST or do they work separately?
They work completely independently. When the COAST launcher has been installed, and your PC restarts it will offer you a choice between your regular Windows desktop set-up or our COAST dashboard. After using COAST, the next time you restart the computer, choosing Windows as the option will auto-delete the COAST installer to leave no trace on your PC.
7. What programs are available to me on COAST?
COAST comes with a number of leading ‘Open Source’ applications pre-installed and, where applicable, pre-configured with appropriate security settings ready for use. Here’s a quick summary of the applications and the included security features;
||Configured with an encrypted home directory, meaning all user data stored on the stick is kept encrypted and secure
||We’ve pre-configured the popular Firefox browser adding a number of useful security plug-ins and with all internet traffic being routed via the secure COAST VPN, you can be sure that all of your browsing is kept private, anonymous and secure
||We’ve pre-configured the Thunderbird client with Engimail and GPG, providing end-to-end encrypted email secured with AES 256 encryption right out of the box!
||With real-time encryption of video and voice calls and secure, encrypted text messaging and chat you can be sure that your private conversations are kept truly private!
||Encrypted messaging and chat secured with ‘Off-The-Record’
||A complete, Microsoft compatible office suite (Word processor, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Database, etc)
||A fully featured photo editor
||Easy to use music player supporting a number of file formats
||The popular video and media player
8. What happens if Linux updates their OS?
COAST’s dashboard is regularly updated with the latest application software and security patches.
9. Can COAST work with any PC or computer programme.
COAST is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 & 10, with a Mac compatible version currently under development!
10. Will it work on tablets?
At present, and for the short term, the answer is no. However, app versions of the COAST system are already being developed for tablet and mobile use. These will become available as separate entities but will also work in conjunction with the USB stick.
11. Is COAST more prone to viruses than PCs or laptops?
The opposite. Its ‘lock-down’ functionality prevents the use of un-trusted software programmes from external sites. And as it bypasses the host PC’s hard drive, it can’t be infected from there either.
12. How will COAST protect my privacy?
We use a number of features to ensure that your computing experience is totally confidential:
Firstly, our no-trace technology borrows the functionality of the host computer but leaves no imprint on the hard drive. It’s as if your COAST session never happened.
Second, our Virtual Private Network shields the user’s web activity from prying eyes. In simplified terms, your online activities pass through a tunnel which hides them from ISPs, snoopers and monitoring agencies etc. (And, passing through our server, you can also chose to encrypt your emails and texts to add an additional layer of protection.)
Third, we pre-configure the web browser, email client and video and text messaging apps with the appropriate security settings to ensure that all of you browsing and online communications are kept private and secure.
Finally, even if you lose COAST your data is still safe. The stick’s contents are encrypted and can’t be unscrambled without access to the user ID and password. To add further peace of mind, we’ve also built in a ‘remote kill’ feature to the stick, meaning that once you report your stick as being lost or stolen, if someone finds the stick and loads it up, all user data on the stick will be automatically erased.
13. Can I change my password easily?
Yes, this option is built into the device’s settings.
14. What happens if I lose my COAST?
The contents on the stick are still protected. Only if someone has access to your User ID and password will they be able to open the files. Even if they forced an entry, data would be scrambled without the password. To add further peace of mind, we’ve also built in a ‘remote kill’ feature to the stick, meaning that once you report your stick as being lost or stolen, if someone finds the stick and loads it up, all user data on the stick will be automatically erased.
15. What happens to my data if I lose my COAST?
Each COAST comes with a built-in backup tool to let you save an encrypted copy of all of its contents just in case you lose it. You can then re-save this data onto a replacement COAST stick.
16. Do you have to have much computer knowledge to use COAST?
No. We have made the set-up and operation of the dashboard as simple as possible.
17. What happens if I have problems with the set-up or need help with my COAST?
We are providing 24/7 email support for all markets.
18. I use a company laptop. If I use COAST on the device will my employers know?
COAST leaves no trace on the host PC’s hard drive. However, most companies have specific policies with regard to personal use of corporate computing equipment. We would suggest that you refer to these or ask for guidance from the appropriate department. In all likelihood, they will welcome the use of COAST as it is virus-free, leaves no trace on the hard drive and helps reduce clutter on company servers.
19. Why does COAST think that online privacy is such an important issue?
Online privacy is an enormously important but complex issue. We readily acknowledge that the sharing of information on the internet has many benefits – on both an individual and societal basis. Unfortunately, recent reports show that some agencies (government or otherwise) collect, collate and utilise such data in an indiscriminate and intrusive fashion. Similarly, the way that a number of commercial organisations share and utilise personal or private information is also under scrutiny just now. And finally, the activity of criminals and hackers – particularly with regard to identity theft – obviously puts everyday users of the internet at risk.
In our view, an individual’s privacy is not a commodity that can be traded indiscriminately by third parties – whatever motive they provide for their activities. Even in the virtual age, privacy should be a right not a privilege – and COAST has been developed with that principle in mind.