Do you want to send a file across the Internet to a friend or coworker, but don’t want the NSA to snoop on that file? You’ll want to encrypt that file, but in the quickest and easiest way possible. Thanks to various web technologies, you can now do this without even having to deal with a heavier desktop-based encryption program.
File Lock is a fantastic file encryption service that runs entirely on HTML5 technologies — you don’t even need to install a plugin for your browser!
All you have to do is visit their website, choose the file you want to encrypt (if you have multiple files, you’ll need to repeat this for each file), type in a password, and hit the Encrypt button. In just a few seconds, your browser will have created an encrypted version ready to go. The recipient will need to take the encrypted file they receive and decrypt it using the same site. However, this should be just as quick and easy.
While you can use this site to encrypt just about any file, the website itself advises that you don’t use the service if you’re planning on encrypting a lot of files or need to encrypt larger files. The site spouts off warnings around the 30MB mark, but I’d make serious thoughts about using a desktop-based application when you hit the 50MB mark.
The website recommends that you use a program such as TrueCrypt for encryption tasks such as those — I recommend the same thing.
Another option (although less ideal, in my opinion) is to use a service such as Securesha.re. This site does the local encryption via your browser, then lets you upload files. You encrypt it with a password of your choice or a randomized string, and then provide a “secure link” which will let you or anyone else you share the link with download the file.
Basically, the point of this site isn’t necessarily to encrypt a file and leave it at that, but it’s a file sharing site that does four things:
- It encrypts the file that you want to share.
- It uploads the encrypted file to the site.
- The recipient downloads the encrypted file.
- The recipient’s browser decrypts the file locally before asking them for the desired save location.
So in other words, this doesn’t give you an encrypted file, but it still facilitates an encrypted way to share a file. You can also control how many views or days the file stays on the server before it’s deleted (the maximum is 7 days), and the code that makes all of this happen is open source.
Although solid, modern file encryption implementations in your browser are surprisingly scarce, they exist and can easily be used by anyone using the latest version of their favorite browser. Again, I must emphasize that using your browser for any file encryption should be kept at 50MB or less — otherwise, it’s still better to look at a desktop encryption program such as TrueCrypt.
What’s your favorite way to encrypt files? Let us know in the comments!