Despite the volume of traffic on the internet, anything you send online is susceptible to hacking. You need to use encryption and not just any kind -the kind that even the fastest computers or networks won’t be able to crack. If you have something digital that needs protection, take a look at these tips.
If you’re a Gmail user, you probably also use Chrome. A free Chrome Extension called CryptUp can be used for end-to-end encryption of your Gmail inbox. It uses PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption and while that sounds like it may be less than ideal, PGP is actually quite secure. There are no known cases of anyone being able to break PGP so far.
When you add the extension, it will add a `secure compose’ button next to the regular compose button in Gmail. It also lets you encrypt at attachments on the fly. It works on Inbox by Gmail & the developers plan to add support for Yahoo & Outlook soon.
There should also be a Firefox extension soon.
There are multiple methods to encrypt files when you want to send them to another person. The first method is simple -use a file transfer website that offers an encryption feature. One free service you can try is http:www.senditonthenet.com. It requires both sender and receiver to create a free account and limits you to 80MB per file. You could also email services that offer file encryption.Some of the free options include as Sendinc.com, Tutanota.com and Protonmail.com.Finally, there is Encrypto -a free, cross-platform (MAC + Win) tool that encrypts anything to store on your machine or send via email. Just drag & drop to encrypt with a password and password hint. Use a hint that only the recipient will know and you won’t even have to send the password separately .
Better Cloud Encryption
Boxcryptor supports almost every cloud storage provider and works across all popular desktop and mobile platforms. The free version lets you use one cloud service provider of your choice and limits you to two devices. The paid personal version removes both these restrictions for US$48 per year. Find out more at http:www.boxcryptor .com.
Unified Encrypted Storage
Odrive is a free `sync engine’ that brings together all of your cloud service providers.Essentially, it aggregates all storage and lets you sign in with just one password.Everything can be encrypted with your secret passphrase you are the only person in the world who will be able to access your files.Find out more at http:www.odrive.com.
Email Safer Than Fort Knox
SendSafely uses end-to-end encryption to send email securely. It can integrate with Outlook mail or Gmail using extensions and the recipient need not install anything.The free tier gives you about 50MB per month just enough for basic documents.For larger files, you need to upgrade to the $10 or 20 per month plans. Find out more at http:www.sendsafely.com.
If want to share a bit of secret information with someone else (ATM Pin, bank password, email password) but don’t want to leave a record of it anywhere, you can use PrivNote. It lets you send a note that gets deleted as soon as its read. You can even encrypt with a password or have them send you an email when the note is destroyed. Find out more at http:www.privnote.com.
Encrypt Folders On A Computer
Windows users can use compression software like 7-zip (http:www.7-zip.org) that offers 256-bit encryption MAC users can use the built-in Disk Utility tool to create an encrypted, compressed image of a file or folder (launch disk utility, click on File > New Image > Image from folder, select the folder and choose 128 bit or 256 bit encryption).
Encrypt Files on Smartphones
iPhone and iPad users with iOS8 and above can go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and then scroll to see the last line `Data protection is enabled’. If it does not say that, then you need to set a password for security and encryption will automatically be enabled on your device.
For Android, screen lock does not equal encryption. To enable encryption, you will have to go to Settings > Security and choose to Encrypt all data on phone or SD card. It can take between 30 minutes to several hours for the process. Note that if you encrypt your SD card on one phone, the data on it will not be accessible on any other device unless you first decrypt the SD card on the same phone.