Free File Encryption

Data security shouldn't just be a concern for corporations. I think everyone should take steps to guard their data especially since more and more of the really important stuff exists in digital form. Even if you feel confident that your data is secure behind a firewall or maybe not accessible from the Internet, there is still the mundane, but ever present risk that your home will be burglarized. And aside from the jewelry you keep in the cookie jar, thieves are going to take your computer. If you're lucky, they'll go after the quick bucks by selling your machine. However, some may decide to see what you've got stashed on your hard drive. Social security number? Bank information? Stored logins and passwords for your favorite e-commerce sites?

That's where file encryption comes in. Once you encrypt a file it doesn't matter so much who has access to it. It could be passed around the web for all you care since it is encrypted. And as usual, I've tracked down a very easy-to-use and free program for encrypting files. My program of choice is Blowfish Advanced CS. This little program gives you a handful of encryption options and also adds itself to the context menu in Windows Explorer so that you can encrypt/decrypt files and folders by right-clicking on them.

One word of warning though. This file encryption program will keep out strangers, but it'll also keep out anyone that is foolish enough to forget their password.

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1 Comment

  1. I've used TrueCrypt to encrypt entire partitions. You either set aside a portion of the hard drive or it can create an encrypted file containing the partition. TrueCrpt then mounts the partition for use. The encrypted partitions can be very large; I don't know what the limits are, but I use a 10 GB hard drive partition and a 50 MB file partition (on a memory stick) regularly.

    I worry a bit about losing data through corruption or from accidentally deleting the encrypted file or partition. Windows is always suggesting I Format the encrypted partition. I also worry about the encrypted data's vulnerability to computer crashes. . .but apparently TrueCrypt can handle such things without a complete catastrophe. I had a problem with catastrophic corruption in the first encrypted file I set up but have had no trouble since.

    I also use Steganos Locknote for quick handling of ordinary text files and IronKey.

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