7 Free Encryption Tools worth Trying

>> Sunday, September 06, 2009

data-securityFailing to secure your data can result in some potentially costly and time consuming processes to recover and re-secure what was lost. It’s worth the time up front to do what you can to ensure your personal data and information stays relatively secure and at least poses some challenge to those who’d like to access it. As an added incentive, many times this can be done for virtually no up front investment on your part. Here are a few free encryption tools that you can use to secure your important info.

  1. TrueCryptWith TrueCrypt, you get the functionality to encrypt an entire partition of your hard drive if you so wish. Once encrypted, you can then store and access files on the partition like you would any other part of your computer. The best part? The encrypted files aren’t marked so there’s no way for an intruder to tell what’s sensitive info right off the bat.
  2. LockNoteUsing AES 256, this program encrypts your documents. It can be useful for securing business information and sensitive communications. The recipient of the document must have a password to be able to decrypt the information.
  3. S-ToolsIf you’re interested in steganographics, give this tool a try. It hides your encrypted files in GIF or WAV files and allows you to easily compress and send them as well. 
  4. GNU Privacy GuardThis open source encryption tool offers a free way to get public key encryption. With this, you can encrypt any emails you send out that you want to keep private and secure, with the passwords for access known only to you and your recipient.
  5. Cryptainer LEThe name for this program says it all, as it can be used to create small (25 MB) containers within your hard drive where encrypted information can be stored.
  6. File BuddyUse File Buddy to encrypt your files and erase the original un-encrypted versions from your computer so they won’t be hanging around for prying eyes to find.
  7. CompuSecWant to just go ahead and secure the whole shebang? This free tool lets users secure their entire hard drive, disks, memory sticks, and more.
While encryption is no guarantee of data protection it is one big step away from simply being a sitting duck with information there for the taking, and with so many free programs out there it’s silly not to give it a try.

This post was contributed by Megan Jones, who writes about the college degrees. She welcomes your feedback at Meg.Jones0310 at gmail.com

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