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There are so many different ways of encrypting data, especially in Linux. My favorite method has always been using Truecrypt as it’s relatively easy to use and extremely effective. However, if you want to encrypt individual files, having to create a new container just for them might be a little impractical, especially when they aren’t similar files. Instead, there’s a nice little tool that will configure encryption options that will appear in your right-click menu. That way, you can apply a simple right-click option to quickly encrypt any file.
How do you get such an option in your right-click menu? Simple, just go here and download the .tar.gz file which will include the two .sh scripts that will do the magic. The scripts should have executable rights after you extract them from the .tar.gz, but in case they don’t, you can always add them by right-clicking on each and choosing Properties.
Running The Installation
The scripts are there to ask you questions to configure how your right-click encryption option should work. You can always run the script again if you want to add a second encryption option that runs a little differently. To get started, double click on the Turbo-Secure-Files-Installer.sh file and hit Run to start the script.
After the introductory warning, you’ll be presented with two main methods of encryption: GPG and SSL. GPG is meant by design to protect your data while SSL is designed to encrypt transmissions of data. However, both work and should get the job done. If you cannot choose between the two, I’d recommend that you pick GPG.
Once you make your pick, you’ll be warned that after encryption, specialized recovery software may be able to recover the unencrypted version of your file. It asks if you want to install a program called “Wipe” to combat this issue. You can install it if you wish, although there are other tools that you can install from your respective repositories that can do the same thing. Once you’ve chosen, you can continue.
The next screen asks whether you want to manually enter in a password every time, which won’t be stored anywhere, or whether you’d like to use a stored password to automatically encrypt whatever you like. The screen offers descriptions for what each situation is recommended for, depending on your type of use. Choose, then continue.
You will now be asked to enter in a password. Do so, then continue. The script will now ask whether you’d like to hash your password. Hashing essentially “scrambles” it in a way where it’s 100 times more secure from brute force attacks but doesn’t require anything special from your end. The script warns that doing so will only let it work with the Turbo Secure software, so it’s up to you.
The next screen lets you choose between different encryption algorithms. This depends on your needed level of security, as you can get faster performance if you don’t need as much security. However, AES has amazing security and is decent in performance so I’d just pick that if I had no other preference. Make your choice, then continue.
You can even choose if you want compression and how much of it you want. The more compression, the smaller the file and the more time it takes to open. However, compression may be a good thing, especially when you have to transport the encrypted files. Make your choice and then click on OK.
The following screen allows you to choose between a non-armored and an armored file type. Choosing an armored file type may add a little more protection, but the choice is up to you.
The script will now remind you where your password may be stored (“~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/Turbo-Secure-Files (GPG/SSL Edition)” ) if you chose to use the automatic password method. You can back up that location and restore it when needed. This will avoid any issues with your encrypted data if the system gets issues.
Conclusion: Encryption & Decryption
You’re done! You should now get a confirmation window that you have installed an encryption option with the settings that you chose. To test, you can right-click on a file and try it out (found under Scripts). Under the same Scripts menu where the encryption option is, you can open the Scripts folder to rename scripts or remove them. That way, you can rename or remove it if necessary.
All successful encryption operations will conclude with the script asking if you’d like to remove the original file. Running the same encryption option on an encrypted file will decrypt it.
What do you think of this encryption technique? Is it easy? Is it missing something? Let us know in the comments!