Protect your sensitive files from prying eyes by encrypting them with free software
The best way to protect sensitive documents and files, whether on your PC or backed up on the internet, is to encrypt them. Encryption prevents those files from being accessed by others unless they have the password – or ‘key’ – to unlock them.
While many online backup providers encrypt your data, their methods are not always 100 per cent foolproof. Cloudfogger is a free tool that encrypts files before they leave your PC, adding another layer of security around your precious data.
Launch a web browser, visit Cloudfogger and click the Cloudfogger Download link on the main page. Save Cloudfogger_Setup.exe to your hard disk, then double-click the file to install the program, clicking Run followed by Yes or Continue if prompted. Click Next, read and accept the licence agreement and click Next again followed by Install. After a short pause, the program will install itself. Windows XP users may have to wait while the program downloads and installs additional files it requires to work. When this is complete, leave the ‘Run Cloudfogger’ box ticked and click Finish to launch the setup wizard.
First, you will be prompted to create a user account, which is not required if you are using a single PC and not planning to share sensitive files with others. Assuming this is the case, select ‘Single user mode without account (no sharing)’ and click Next. Type in a strong password – this will be used to encrypt and decrypt the files sent to the Cloudfogger folder. Ticking ‘Save password locally’ means Cloudfogger automatically unlocks your files without a password prompt when the PC starts – only do so if the computer is secure. Click Next followed by Finish.
Two new windows will open: one pointing to a virtual drive (drive X), and the other pointing to the Cloudfogger folder. Place both side-by-side and note how the file in drive X – called ‘First Steps.pdf’ – is replicated in the Cloudfogger folder, except it has a .cfog file extension, which indicates the file is encrypted. While the Cloudfogger drive is unlocked, files in either location can be accessed by double-clicking them. To see what happens when the drive is locked, click the Cloudfogger icon in the Notification Area of the Taskbar and choose Lock.
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