Encryption can be defined as “translating data into a secret code”. This is the best way to keep your data safe. In order to access or read data from an encrypted file, you must have a secret key, or more simply, a password, to help you decrypt the file. For security algorithms, unencrypted data is known as plain text, while encrypted data is known as cipher text.
The data in encrypted files is stored in complex code that will be difficult to crack within a reasonable period of time. Hence, encryption is considered one of the best ways to protect personal or business data. For any corporate information, including medical, financial or legal information, security is extremely important.
Leaving unencrypted data in a cloud storage like Google Drive, DropBox or OneDrive, or on your personal computer is like leaving the doors open. Once attackers find out that your data is not encrypted, it becomes easy to target it.
When uploading your data to the cloud or storing it on the system, you should try to protect it with encryption. This applies to both personal and organizational nature.
The benefits of encryption
Data encryption technologies are widely available, which are implemented using several cryptographic algorithms. There are several benefits.
Data Integrity – Enhance data protection and information integrity. However, encryption alone cannot provide integrity, but by protecting the required data, it can keep the data safe from a hacker, which can be used by enterprises when making business decisions.
Privacy Protection – Data on your phone, computer, or in the cloud can contain sensitive information. Hackers can access and use your personal data from your device and use it in unauthorized ways, where data encryption can be proven to guarantee the confidentiality of your data.
Increase Trust – Many businesses may not need data protection, but to show their customers how serious they are about their customers’ security, they use encryption. Using data encryption can increase customer confidence as they learn how serious you take data privacy.
Working remotely – many companies prefer remote workers. Employees are expected to use encrypted devices. However, in the case of remote work, the risk of data breaches is quite high. Data encryption can ensure complete security of information.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the best encryption software available for Windows and macOS.
With AES-256 encryption, Encrypto makes file sharing much safer. Just put your files or folders into it, set a password, and you’re ready to send it to friends or colleagues without worrying about security.
Since you will know the people to whom you will send files, you can also set a password hint. This ensures that the recipient can only know the hint and no other person can unblock it.
Encrypto is available for Mac and Windows.
Together with NordVPN and NordPass services , NordLocker is another company product that is as impressive as the others. You can start with 2GB of free encryption for your files, such as:
- Personal notes
- ID and passwords
- Financial documents
- Any secret files
Most of them are designed to preserve privacy and by encrypting them with NordLocker you prevent them from being used in many ways. You can also encrypt your files before uploading to cloud storage so that no one can access them.
This solution uses Argon2, AES256, ECC (with XChaCha20, EdDSA and Poly1305) which are the most advanced ciphers and principles. You can rest assured that your files are kept at the highest level of security.
As stated above, you get 2GB of file encryption and 24/7 support for free. If you want unlimited encryption, you can opt for the premium plan for just $ 1 per month.
Another impressive encryption software for your files, Boxcryptor uses advanced end-to-end encryption for over 30 different cloud providers. The look of this is not one of the friendliest, but it is quite approachable and easy to use.
After installing the tool, it will automatically find the cloud storage folders on your system and add them as locations. Once this is done, you don’t have to do much. Just drag and drop files or folders to the correct locations and they will be encrypted by themselves.
Apart from sharing through cloud storage providers, you can also share files directly with another Boxcryptor user. It’s free for personal use as long as you use the same cloud storage provider. To use more and access more features, you can simply upgrade it starting at $ 48 per year.
Tresorit , trusted by over 10,000 organizations, works on virtually all devices. Whether you are at home, on the road or in the office, secure file sharing should always be a priority, and this solution makes it very possible.
In addition, it is important to note that Tresorit is a Swiss company and Switzerland is known for its neutrality policy and strict data protection laws. Your files won’t be able to decrypt on their servers, especially since it uses AES – 256 keys.
Cryptomator is completely open source and works with Windows, Mac and Linux. It uses a technology called Transparent Encryption, which means you will hardly notice a difference in how you work with your files. It creates a virtual hard drive for all of your cloud storage files and encrypts them for secure access.
The great thing is that you don’t need to learn any complex workflows or features to make this work. Cryptomator is designed in such a way that it allows you to encrypt and access your files just as you would without it.
Since this is open source software, you can pay any amount you want to download. In fact, you can download it for free.
AxCrypt provides some additional features in layout simplicity. You can collaborate with your team members and allow them to open your encrypted files with specific passwords. All files that go through AxCrypt are protected with 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption.
In addition, you can:
- Automatically protect cloud storage files
- Manage passwords
- Open encrypted files on your mobile device
- Switch language to Russian, Turkish, Korean, etc.
You can download and start using their free plan now, or opt for a premium plan starting at $ 34 / year.
7. Folder Lock
For downloads over 56 KB, Folder Lock allows you to encrypt data and folders for secure sharing. It has received several awards and has been highly acclaimed on platforms such as CNET and Softonic. In addition to traditional encryption software features, Folder Lock allows you to:
- Password protection USB / external drives
- Permanently delete files
- Clear Windows history
- Enable stealth mode
- Back up encrypted files on a secure cloud server
It is available in several different languages and you can download it for free to try out the basic functions.
A very simple and free tool to encrypt / decrypt your files, Hat.sh can be a quick fix for people who don’t want to download any software. All you have to do is visit their website, upload your file, and then add the decryption key to create a new encrypted file. Then you can click the download button and save it to your system.
Just because it’s easy and free doesn’t mean it’s insecure. In fact, it is protected by the AES-256-GCM algorithm. And the good thing is that none of your files are stored on their server. This is all destroyed as soon as you leave the site.
When it comes to data security, there should be no compromises. Be sure to use any of the above tools to protect your files so you don’t fall victim to data manipulation.