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How to encrypt and password protect data files and folders on your PC.

Updated on October 29, 2011

What is Encryption & Password Protection?

Encryption is altering (a file, for example) using a secret code so as to make it unintelligible to unauthorized parties.

Password protection refers to giving a secret series of characters that enables a user to access a file, computer, or program.

The password helps ensure that unauthorized users do not access the file, computer or program.

Ideally, your password should be something that nobody apart from you could guess.

In practice, most people choose a password that is easy to remember, such as their name, kid’s name, pet’s name or their initials.

This is unwise and makes it relatively easy to break into most password protected computer systems, files or programs.

Safeguard Your Most Sensitive Information

Safeguard your most sensitive Information with a password from FileShield.

FileShield lets you easily encrypt and decrypt specified files and folders using just one password. Once locked, these files and folders cannot be deleted or moved.
The files are stored locally on your computer in a secured folder which only you can lock and unlock by entering your unique password. Just drag and drop files you want to protect into the secure folder.

Why Encrypt or Password Protect Files?

Why would you want to encrypt or password protect your data?

Well lets just say if you have very sensitive data (like your name, address, credit card number, PIN etc)

on your computer which is connected the Internet, then it might just be a wise idea to protect such data.

If you still have any doubts as to why you have to do this perhaps looking at the cyber crime statistics below, might help change your mind.

There are many stories today of Identify theft, and the number of such cases are growing.

A little deterrence like encrypting or password protecting your files is a vital first step in stopping such crimes, otherwise any nosy and Internet savvy geek could be accessing your personal data.

Ways to Encrypt & Password Protect Files

There are several ways to encrypt and passwords protect data files and folders on your PC.

Some of which are:

• Using your computer’s operating system (OS) built in encryption file system like windows file encryption .

• If you have Vista installed you could use one of vista’s security feature called Bitlocker.

• Third party encryption software.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

The main advantage of using your computer’s OS security feature is that you do not have to download or install any additional software. However using a built in data encryption from your pc’s operating system still leaves you vulnerable.There is software abundantly available on the Internet to circumvent this particular method of securing your data. Also

• This type of encryption is based on your user profile's name and password.

• You must export your certificates and private keys in the event that your user profile becomes inaccessible for some reason.

• You can't share your encrypted files with others in an encrypted form since the encrypted files are only accessible by your user profile.

• Finally if you are logged in, your encrypted files become accessible.

On the other hand using third party software means downloading (sometimes purchasing) & installing additional software.

My favorite and recommended method is to use a third party encryption software utility.

There are many available on the Internet including TrueCrypt, Kruptos 2, AxCrypt, and Cryptainer.

I would recommend Truecrypt (get Truecrypt from http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads).

Truecrpyt for Encryption & Password Protection

What is Truecrpt and why use it?

Truecrpt is a free open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP/2000 and Linux.

Truecrypt has several benefits notably:

• It has cool features which enable you to drag-and-drop your files into an encrypted folder,

• your encrypted file folders can be hidden from view of all other users,

• it's independent of your Operating system (OS),

• You can copy an encrypted folder and transport it on flash drives, CDs/DVDs, etc., accessing it on any computer while the contents still remain safe.

• No one can access your files even while you’re logged into Windows unless they also have the passcode for your files.

It’s main features are:

• Truecrpt creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk.

• It can encrypt an entire hard disk partition or a storage device such as USB flash drive.

• Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent.

• It has good file destruction features; when a file is encrypted, the original file is destroyed, it can never be recovered from the hard drive.

• Provides two levels of plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password:

  • Hidden volume.
  • No TrueCrypt volume can be identified (volumes cannot be distinguished from random data).

• Encryption algorithms: AES-256, Serpent, and Twofish. Mode of operation: LRW.

With its ease of use you can start using Truecrypt immediately to encrypt and password protect data files and folders on your PC.

Get Truecrpt today and start protecting yourself and your vital information.

Don't be another statistic.

Stay safe on the Internet. Protect your privacy online - it is very important!


Other Safety Measures Online

Start by eliminating spyware from your computer.

Spyware and Adware are files that can be installed on your

computer even though you don't want them!

Click below to learn more about how to detect and remove Spyware and Adware..

This COMPLETE PC SECURITY SUITE will eliminate syware, Adware, viruses and other malware from your computer.

Cyber Crime facts and figures for the UK.

A cyber crime is committed every ten seconds in the UK.

Computer criminals committed 3.24 million crimes in FY 2006 in the Uk alone.

90% of cyber crimes go unreported.

Cyber crimes include:

  • Online harassment , notably – threatening or abusive emails, offensive allegations. There were 1.94 million of these cases in the UK alone last year.
  • Sex crimes such as cyberstalking, unwanted sexual approaches in chatrooms & grooming children for sex.
  • Financial frauds. 207,000 cases.
  • Identity theft, 92, 000 reported cases.
  • Hacking into people’s computers, 144,500 cases.

    Note: Apart from storing personal information on your PC, personal information posted on social networks sites seems to be fueling these crimes according to security firm Garlik.

Comments

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    • profile image

      greywolff 

      8 years ago

      Found this interesting, I will check into this

    • profile image

      munsif ali, age:39, commerce graduate 

      10 years ago

      Hi, I am munsif ali, from pakistan. I found above literature about encryption very helpful and found that windows vista/windows2000/and linux have feaures,

      It has cool features which enable you to drag-and-drop your files into an encrypted folder.

      But there is another security feature i.e. digitally signing files. I followed a windows xp demo, and digitally signed files of my hard disk, but still there were almost 3000 files which were not digitally signed. I selected programmes files and checked them wether these were digitally signed, my windows xp told me that none of the programme files were digitally signed, despite following the demo instructions. so I myself signed all the programme files, as we also have a programme file of internet. As I am new to pc, there fore , learning every system file and folder and the language it contains has become my greatest hobby.

      I suggest that , it should be upto me to create at least 5 to 6 barriers in form of security passwords for programme and system files.

      sincerely

      munsif ali, age:39, commerce graduate,

      09203313524436

      hyderabad, pakistan

    working

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