Putting sensitive data in email messages or cloud storage should give you the heebie-jeebies, but a good dose of cryptography can give you peace of mind. The OpenPGP-compatible Windows program wea€™ll use is gpg4win (GNU Privacy Guard for Windows). Youa€™ll need to install gpg4win on all the computers you think youa€™ll have to encrypt or decrypt your files on. To create your keys, open GPA and click Keys > New Keya€¦, enter your name, and click Forward. Once you've generated your key pair, you can export and distribute the public key to receive encrypted messages and files from others.
You can include your public key in your email signature or publicize it on your blog or website.
If youa€™d like the public to find and download you public key on a public server, right-click your key and select Send Keys.
To send encrypted messages or files to friends that use PGP, youa€™ll have to import their public keys onto your desired PCs or devices. To import a public key in text format, you can copy the entire raw key block--including the beginning and ending labels and dashes--and paste it into the GPA application.
When importing your private key, use a secure method, like connecting your device to your computer via USB or using an OTG cable to attach a USB stick with your key pair. Open the APG app, tap the key icon in the upper left to open the menu, and tap Import Keys. Now that your keys are ready where you need them, here's how to encrypt and decrypt your messages and files. PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. While all of us use cloud storage to enjoy its wider accessibility, at the same time it’s been a matter or privacy and security concern. Local accounts does not offer permission management features like the registered (with name & email) accounts.
Double clicking on the Dropbox folder inside Boxcryptor virtual drive gets access to my cloud files. For an example, if I want to encrypt my Dropbox file with Boxcryptor, at first I need to run Boxcryptor app and enter into its virtual drive found in my computer hard drive.  Alternatively, the virtual drive can be opened by double clicking the Boxcryptor system tray icon.
After opening the virtual drive, I can see my Dropbox folder inside it, because it is listed in my Boxcryptor app. The encrypted files can be accessed easily from the Boxcryptor virtual drive’s cloud home folder (e.g. If you want to encrypt multiple files, put them inside a folder and encrypt the entire folder at once.
If you put any file inside the encrypted folder, the newer files will be encrypted automatically. If you want to change your account details or export the key files, click on these options in ‘Account’ settings tab. Thought Boxcryptor offers some limited features in its free version, yet the app can serve your core purpose. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. When you install gpg4win, it installs an extension in the Windows Explorer shell that lets you encrypt one or more files or folders on your system with a right-click. Select the recipients' public keys, click the AddA button to put them on the list, and click Next. If you selected to sign (or sign and encrypt) the file, next you need to select which private key youa€™d like to sign the file with, if therea€™s more than one installed on the PC. Once youa€™re done, youa€™ll have an encrypted file with extension .gpg that you can email or send to others. Decrypting a file is just as easy as encrypting one, and can be done with a right-click from file explorer. To decrypt files using gpg4win, right-click the encrypted file and select Decrypt and Verify. The first two options (related to the signature and archive) should automatically default to the correct configuration. If the file you're trying to decrypt is an archive, Kleopatra can try to unpack it for you.
Once you get a hang of encrypting and decrypting on a PC, youa€™ll have no problem doing it on your Android device. First, open the APG app, tap the key icon in the upper left to open the menu, and tap Encrypt.


Tap the SelectA button so you can specify the certificates of those whom youa€™ve chosen to decrypt the file. When sharing a file, you'll be presented with options to compress the file, convert the file to ASCII armor, and delete the original file when you're done encrypting it. When youa€™re ready, tap Encrypt File (if encrypting a file) or Share withA (if encrypting a message) to access the Androida€™s native sharing options. To decrypt a file with APG, tap the key icon in the upper left to open the menu, and tap Decrypt. If APG detects youa€™ve previously copied an encrypted message from any app, it will automatically try to decrypt it. To decrypt a file, tap the arrow to select File decryption, tap the folder icon to browse for the file. Tap the Decrypt button and enter the passphrase for the private key that the file was encrypted for. When using the Clipboard feature of GPA, you can generate encrypted text messages that you can then paste inside emails, instant messages, or other forms of communication. To decrypt, paste in the entire raw message block including the beginning and ending labels and dashes. While OpenPGP isna€™t quite a€?set it and forget ita€? technology, it is very effectivea€”so effective, in fact, that instead of trying to crack the encryption, some government agencies have resorted to issuing subpoenas for private keys and passwords.
While this tutorial doesna€™t provide you with an NSA-defeating level of protection (you still have much to learn, grasshopper), you now have the basics for keeping your information private from most casual attacks. Using the cloud in a savvy way can make your work easier and keep your patients happy—as long as you deploy it in a secure way. Communication between doctors and patients keeps getting easier as technology provides more and more opportunities for sharing information. Privacy’s a big thing nowadays, and with the US government in particular leaning on big businesses to make it easier for user’s private data to be shared, you’ve a right to feel uneasy. One of the latest to hit the market -- albeit in somewhat unfinished form -- is a free tool for Mac and PC called Secryptor Basic 1.0. Secryptor offers a relatively simple tool for encrypting and decrypting files using 256-bit AES encryption.
That on its own isn’t particularly remarkable -- tools like Quick Crypt do the same, and much more besides. The second is direct integration with Dropbox, allowing you -- in theory -- to directly encrypt and upload files to your Dropbox folder. We say "in theory" because while the feature works flawlessly on PC, we had problems using it on the Mac -- this could be down to the fact the program still feels unfinished, despite its 1.0 release status.
Even in its early state, however, Secryptor shows promise, particularly for those with Dropbox accounts and the need to securely access files via iPhone or iPad. In the meantime, Secryptor Basic 1.0 is available now as a free download for PCs running Windows 7 or later as well as Mac and iOS. From platform support to file versioning to private options, ita€™s important to consider all the factors when evaluating a cloud-based backup strategy.
To get cloudHQ to back up your cloud files, simply set up a one-way sync instead of the usual two-way sync.
Using a storage applianceA somewhat less orthodox way to protect your cloud storage service would be to rely on a network-attached storage (NAS) appliance to do the backup.
Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) or its open-source implementation, OpenPGP, is the gold standard of encryption online, and when used properly, has the potential to thwart even the likes of the NSA. OpenPGP's industrial-strength encryption can ensure secure delivery of files and messages, as well as provide verification of who created or sent the message using a process called digital signing. You can also use OpenPGP to secure sensitive files when theya€™re stored in vulnerable places like mobile devices or in the cloud.
When prompted for which components youa€™d like to install, include the GPA (GNU Privacy Assistant) component in addition to others that are chosen by default. If you'd like more anonymity, consider creating another key pair with a fake name and email address. If you use a USB thumb drive, make sure the thumb drive is dedicated to housing your keys, and won't be used for storing other files.
Treat your private key file like a digital Social Security card: Never store it in the cloud or on the storage of an internet-connected computer or device. Use a strong, long and mixed-character passphrase, and never use words that are in a dictionary. You can distribute the file or just the plain text that you see when you open the file in a text editor. Then agree with their terms & conditions, check the proper box and click the ‘OK’ button.


If you forget the password, you will lose your files encrypted with this software, because your password is a must in the decryption process. You will find a Boxcryptor drive in your computer’s hard drive interface while the app is running. If you want to encrypt any file stored on your cloud drive, just enter into the respective folder and right click.You will get an encryption option. If you encrypt a folder named as ‘New’, after encryption, the folder name will be ‘New_encrypted’.
To use this ‘Permission’ feature, the other user will also need to be registered with Boxcryptor. Once a user or group is given permission to a content, they will be able to collaborate with you. You can choose to delete the encrypted copy when youa€™re done by selecting Delete After Decryption.
If your email program doesna€™t have such a feature, you can still encrypt and decrypt messages manuallya€”inside of files, or using the Clipboard feature of GPA or a similar feature on mobile apps like APG.
Whether you’re looking to encrypt files on your PC or even add another layer of encryption to files before uploading them to the cloud or sharing via email, a raft of free tools are emerging to help you do just that. At its most simple level, you select a file from your hard drive, add a password and Secryptor will produce an encrypted copy, sporting its own .skt file extension.
From here, Secryptor generates an ID code you can email to a trusted contact (communicate the password separately) who can then easily recover the original file using Secryptor’s decryptions tools.
The Windows setup file is all in German, while the Mac versions continues to use German on dialog boxes even after you’ve switched language to English. However, PC users should also check out the aforementioned Quick Crypt and AxCrypt, to name but two alternatives, to see which one best meets their needs. CloudHQ supports almost all of the cloud storage services in use today, as well as Evernote, Basecamp, Salesforce and SharePoint.
The latest DSM operating platform that runs on all NAS appliances from Synology, for example, can hook up with a variety of cloud storage services, including Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box.In this case, the NAS can be set up to keep in sync with the cloud, while local versioning control on the storage appliance can be relied on to ensure that older versions of files can be restored at any time. GPA is the program I recommend for managing your encryption keys, which I also cover in this article.
Additionally, if your private key and passphrase are compromised, the attacker will have access to everything youa€™ve encrypted.
A Conversely, feel free to load your public key onto any device that youa€™ll need to encrypt files on.
Otherwise, select the drop-down menu on top to import a key from a file, QR Code, clipboard, or NFC. If you encrypt your files before uploading them, and hold the decryption key, then your files could not be read even if it goes to a second party. Now I need to right click on the file which I want to encrypt and hover the mouse on ‘Boxcryptor’ option. By permitting another person, you are actually required to give physical access to the encrypted file stored in your cloud drive. Check Remove unencrypted original file when done if you want the original files to be removed. He founded Sookasa with the mission of allowing professionals to use the cloud in a compliant way.To view the slides in PDF format, click here. In limited tests, a new folder containing almost 6,000 Word documents and assorted images totaling 5GB took almost two days to complete its first sync from SugarSync to Dropbox. Alternatively, a backup schedule can be set up to create regular point-in-time data backups.For the sake of simplicity, the above suggestions only examined the broad options available to users looking to back up a primary cloud service. To mange permissions of an encrypted file or folder, just right click on that and select ‘Manage Permissions’ from the Boxcryptor context menu.
Then you can distribute the entire raw message block, including the beginning and ending labels and dashes. Of course, the fault could well lie with one of the cloud storage services, and is unlikely to be noticed even under normal usage scenarios.Backing up from a desktopFor those who are unwilling to fork out cash for a subscription, an alternative would be to set up a desktop PC (or Mac) to make a copy of your cloud-synchronized files to a separate location periodically. Alternative ways of setting things up are readily available, just as additional options are likely to emerge as cloud storage services a€” and the utilities and services that work with them a€” A continue to mature.
Paid packages have advanced features like group sharing, file name encryption, multiple locations etc. The latter also supports strong AES-256 encryption, which means that backups are protected against inspection.



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