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  1. #1
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    Want to encrypt files

    Reading Fred's article today on the Lizamoon virus/malware reminded me that I have been wanting to find a simple way to encrypt either my entire documents folder or at least some of the files.

    I am using Windows 7 Home Premium. Is there something built into the system to do this? What are the cons to encrypting a file?

    Jim

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    There is no encryption capability built into Windows 7 Home Premium. However, there are free products available to encrypt individual folders/files as well as multiple ones.

    Check out TrueCrypt here. TrueCrypt has Windows and Mac versions, and is better for encrypting large numbers of folders/files. Also check out MEO by NCH Software. MEO also has versions for Windows and Mac. Another possibility is Encrypt On Click by 2BrightSparks. You can encrypt as few as one folder/file with MEO and Encrypt On Click, or several folders/files. Both are easier to use for modest encryption needs.

    I have used all of the above at one time or another, and currently use MEO because I encrypt MS Office documents and spreadsheets on a Mac and Windows 7. I can encrypt the files on Windows 7, copy to the Mac, decrypt on the Mac and work with the files, then encrypt again. It does not matter which OS I use. The other OS can allow me to work the files by using MEO. You may never need such cross platform functionality, but if you ever do, MEO works great.

    The only con I can come up with is if you forget your encryption password, your files are forever locked away. However, a good password manager can help with that, but then you have to remember the master password to get into the password manager! The only other con is you must enter the password to decrypt the files you need to update, and then take the time to encrypt them again to keep them secure. Encrypting usually means entering the password twice to confirm it. But this is a small price to pay to keep certain files from prying eyes.
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-04-08 at 08:40. Reason: check links & spelling correction

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  4. #3
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    Thanks for the detailed response. This is the info I was looking for.

  5. #4
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    Now, I have a question regarding MEO. It indicates it can encrypt email. However, short of downloading and installing there is no info on how this works on the recipients end. I assume that the person to whom the email is sent must have MEO, is that correct?

  6. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcgc50 View Post
    I assume that the person to whom the email is sent must have MEO, is that correct?
    According to this article, yes, that is correct: http://allnurses-central.com/general...re-527575.html

  7. #6
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    I decided to give Encrypt On Click a try. I encrypted a folder within the documents library. It appears that it leaves that file decrypted even after the file is closed. That is ok but what seems cumbersome is that to encrypt again I open the program search for the folder then enter the password twice. That seems a bit of a pain or am I missing something.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcgc50 View Post
    I decided to give Encrypt On Click a try. I encrypted a folder within the documents library. It appears that it leaves that file decrypted even after the file is closed. That is ok but what seems cumbersome is that to encrypt again I open the program search for the folder then enter the password twice. That seems a bit of a pain or am I missing something.
    Once you decrypt an encrypted file to read it or modify it, it does remain decrypted until you encrypt it again. The reason you must enter your encryption password twice is to verify that you entered the first one correctly. If you made one typo mistake in your first password entry, and there was no second entry to confirm a match in the two passwords, you would be unable to decrypt your file later.

    To encrypt a file, just locate it in Windows Explorer, right click it and select Encrypt On Click (if I remember correctly, it is available in the right click context menu), and the password entry field should pop open for you to enter the password twice.
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-04-08 at 15:18. Reason: added infor

  9. #8
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Is their any problems with any of the afore mentioned encryption programs if the file/folder is shared, gaining access using network method.

    Attachment 27844
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  10. #9
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Roderunner,

    I have shared folders in my home network that contained encrypted files, so I could copy them from one machine to another (until i opened a Dropbox account; now I do not have to copy from one machine to another, and Dropbox stores my encrypted files just fine). However, if someone copies shared files from your computer on the network to their computer, that person would need to have the same encryption software installed on their machine, and know the password to decrypt the files.

    You could attempt a quick test to see if you can access and enter the password on a shared encrypted file from another computer on your network. I have not attempted that exercise, and never actually considered it before.

  11. #10
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye81 View Post
    Hi Roderunner,

    You could attempt a quick test to see if you can access and enter the password on a shared encrypted file from another computer on your network. I have not attempted that exercise, and never actually considered it before.
    Hi Gerald, the reason I asked was, I have my passwords and keys for paid programs on separate .txt files using Notepad that are 7Zip-ped and password protected.
    Before I finally got Network sharing to work (downstairs Laptop -upstairs Desktop only) I'm a lazy git, as getting into Fort Knox would be easier than getting Homegroup to work. I was using Dropbox, and how I accessed my zipped files must have been opened while still inside and it really screwed things up, making them unreadable, luckily I kept a spare copy of them so no harm was done.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

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