Free open-source folder locking/encryption software

By | December 23, 2008

When my system crashed in the last month, I sent it to the servicing center for repair and when I returned the next day to collect the system, servicing people were watching the movie, which was stored on my hard drive.  It also contained all my bank account details, e-books I purchased, lot of important documents, and approximately 50 usernames and passwords stored in Firefox using “Remember Password” option.  I was lucky that it was a small service center with less-educated technicians who are just interested in copying music and movies, rather than looking at what others files the system has.  But, just imagine, if it has gone into the hands of a smart tech guy who can just copy all the information and use for illegal things.

These are the steps I have taken to protect the data:

  • I have been saving all the software, e-books, and important documents on an external hard drive, so that if something happens to my system, I can just disconnect the external hard drive and send the system for repair.
  • Using “Use Master Password” in Firefox options.  Without entering the master password while starting the Firefox, it will not show the usernames and passwords automatically. Also, taking regular backups of Firefox using FEBE.

But what about the important files that I use regularly.  I cannot keep the external hard drive connected all the day.  So, just wanted to create a folder that is password protected so that when I need, I just enter password and use. There are number of commercial softwares available to lock folders using passwords.

As an open-source lover, I just searched the net and found this interesting application, which does exactly the commercial folder locking or encrypting softwares do.

TrueCrypt, free open-source application for encrypting the folders or drives available for Windows, Linux, and Mac flavors.  Using TrueCrypt, you can have a virtual folder or drive created using complex encryption algorithms, which is almost hack-free.  Without knowing the password, no one can decrypt it and open the files.

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TrueCrypt Main Menu

The virtually created folders are of cross platform and can be accessed on any operating system. You can use this software to encrypt the entire USB too.

truecrypt_vt

Install the software and open it.  Click the “Create Volume” button.  Select the drive name to assign, choose volume type, hidden or normal, volume location, algorithm, volume size, and password.  That’s all, a secured folder is ready.  Whenever you need to open that folder, just open the file using “Select File” option from TrueCrypt and click “Mount.”  You will see a new drive appears with the drive letter you selected while creating the volume.  Do your work and when you work is complete, just close the application by right clicking and choosing “Exit” on the TrueCrypt button in system tray.  You can also set the option of dismounting the folder automatically at a given time in “Preferences.”

truecrypt_pd

Opening Encrypted Folder

truecrypt_tray

TrueCrypt System Tray Options

Get the TrueCrypt here: http://www.truecrypt.org/

TrueCrypt FAQ: http://www.truecrypt.org/faq.php

TrueCrypt Documentation: http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/

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7 thoughts on “Free open-source folder locking/encryption software

  1. EHDR

    Using such a hdd will definitely save my data in safety 🙂

    Reply
  2. sensiguard

    Thanks for sharing with us..very useful and interesting site ..keep posting 😀

    Reply
  3. nagaraju

    sir ,
    Am doing my B.tech project on telugu mail encryption and decryption please give help to devlop code

    Reply
  4. Vosia

    Yeap, I agree that the topic is a good one cuz everybody are concerned about data security nowadays, but my own experience says that TC for too many times refused to work giving the error of not being able to open my encrypted container. Now I’m using Rohos Mini to password protect my data and Internet applications. Cool stuff!

    Reply
  5. Joseph Fernandes

    Thank you for sharing this info. Also you may save files in a VHD file and then mount/unmount it as a drive whenever required.

    Reply

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