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We now live in an age where everyone is watching everyone else, and everyone is reading each other’s emails, and opening each other’s files. This means that you need to pay closer attention than ever before towards encryption tools, and anything designed to protect your privacy. We obsess over online privacy, especially when Eddie and Glenn decided to reveal top-secret files to the world.

We have seen how encryption tools like Bitlocker Free Military-Grade Privacy For Your Files: How Bitlocker Works [Windows] Free Military-Grade Privacy For Your Files: How Bitlocker Works [Windows] Ever heard that quote about trying to explain how a television works to an ant? I'm not calling you an ant, even though you are hard-working and enjoy the occasional sip of aphid milk. What... Read More and secure zipping tools such as 7-Zip 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats Read More work. So here are 5 we have not already covered.

VeraCrypt

I am cheating a bit here, because VeraCrypt is a fork of the well-known but now discontinued Truecrypt TrueCrypt Is Dead: 4 Disk Encryption Alternatives For Windows TrueCrypt Is Dead: 4 Disk Encryption Alternatives For Windows Read More . So do we count this as a new app, or a version of the old one? For the purposes of this article, I am going to go for the former.

VeraCrypt is simply brilliant. It can open TrueCrypt volumes, and it claims to have an algorithm with “enhanced security”, making the volumes tougher to crack. There is also a Mac OS X and Linux version for all those not rocking a Windows machine.

Kleopatra

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Kleopatra is a “Certificate Manager and Unified Crypto GUI” which can be obtained from Git. In fact, you can obtain the source code from Git, so this option is only for those brave-of-heart who are willing to fight the good fight and help put Kleopatra together.

Or you can be like me, and treat the computer as Skynet How Intelligent Software Is Going to Change Your Life How Intelligent Software Is Going to Change Your Life Skynet is coming, and it's going to be incredibly popular. New AI technologies are emerging that will chance the way we live, play, and work, Read More and run away.

AES Crypt

AES Crypt is as simple as it comes. It places an option in the Windows Explorer right-click menu window, and you can then encrypt the file with a password. AES Crypt will then give you an encrypted version of the file, which can only be opened by someone knowing the password. You can then email it out, put it on Dropbox for someone to download, and so on.

This means AES Crypt does not delete the original file. So if it has to be deleted, don’t forget about it. And don’t forget the password to your encrypted file either. Otherwise you’re really in trouble.

MiniLock

MiniLock goes a little bit further than AES Crypt in that it requires more than a password. You need your email and secret passphrase to generate a MiniLock ID. Then when someone wants to send you a file, they can use your MiniLock ID to encrypt it. If you want to encrypt and send something, you must have their MiniLock ID.

MiniLock also has a Chrome browser extension for creating files on the fly.

DMCrypt

DMCrypt is a Linux-only disk encryption program, so this is one I am not overly familiar with (my experience with Linux lasted a whopping 10 minutes). But it seems like a solid program, and therefore worth mentioning on Cool Websites & Apps.

In my mind, DMCrypt is a lot like Truecrypt/Veracrypt. You make an encrypted folder to store your sensitive files and you access it by mounting the folder as a partition. Here is an excellent guide to setting up an encrypted folder with DMCrypt.

Which encryption program do you use to point the finger at the NSA and GCHQ?

  1. alsen
    April 6, 2016 at 3:41 am

    I encrypt my files with Gilisoft File Lock Pro.
    I encrypt my CD/DVD with Gilisoft Secure Disc Creator
    I encrypt my Laptop with Gilisoft Full Disk Encryption.
    I encrypt my USB sticks with Gilisoft USB Encryption.

  2. Cam
    May 1, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Why didn't you list AxCrypt this time? I thought that was your favorite.. is there a problem with it now?

  3. Luca
    March 5, 2015 at 9:18 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with the previous comment, not only Veracrypt is the top candidate to succeed the glorious Truecrypt but the developer is extremely attentive to end-users' needs, you write to him something and bang!, you get a response within 24 hours. The program is not geared to beginners. With some time limits on the algo and hardware ID encryption, it could become unbeatable. Can you ask more from something that, on top of it, is free ? Re 7zip, I also like for file compression but the encryption is vulnerable, there are backdoors to get around it. It is excellent for the casual user if the files are not particularly sensitive.

    • Dan
      March 5, 2015 at 10:45 am

      There are no backdoors in 7z. I've read weaknesses in 7z's implementation of encryption (which are interesting but does not seriously weaken it) but no backdoors. If you believe otherwise, please feel free to prove it. Maybe you're thinking of the old zip encryption.

  4. defunct
    March 3, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I upgraded to Veracrypt in January. I don't regret it. I read nothing bad other than hate fueled posts against it (in other words, no facts, just hate). And it actually fixes some of the problems that Truecrypt had. It even has some added functionality. And with all that hate, you know people are out there trying to crack it, and haven't been able to.

  5. Stetob
    March 3, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I use 7zip if I want to send one or a few files to someone.
    It has all the benefits of zip (smaller size, just one file, folder structure stays intact, etc.) plus the encryption strength of AES.

    At home I have encrypted my drives with TrueCrypt (also my flash drive attached to my key chain)

    I know TrueCrypt is not supported anymore but I think it remains safe for now (at least Version 7.1a if you know what I mean…)
    I mean that’s the point of good encryption. You can’t decrypt it even if you would now how it was encrypted and everything.

    But I will keep an eye on VeraCrypt but will wait a couple of month. Let’s see how this develops.
    VeraCrypt does not yet have the trust that TrueCrypt had.

  6. Dan
    March 3, 2015 at 5:46 am

    For Linux I'd choose disk encryption using LUKS-over-LVM. If I want to encrypt individual files, I'd use encrypted 7z files since it's already supported available across all platforms.

    On Windows 7 (I have not used Win8+), I used Truecrypt for FDE and 7z again for per-file encryption.

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