Secure your information with free data encryption software. This is important if you are storing sensitive information in the Cloud, sending it over emails or simply storing in on your local computer. We’ve researched a number of encryption programs, both paid and free, to come to our favorite: Encrypto.
Encrypto is a free, easy-to-use app that lets you encrypt files with AES-256 encryption and then send them to friends or coworkers. It works on both Mac and Windows. You can send encrypt files to save, email or upload. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about whether the other person can open it or not.
Cost – $0
While reasonable cost should not be a consideration when considering security, free is certainly a bonus for a quality program. The developer, MacPaw, has a suite of other programs which they do sell. Think of Encrypto as their good-will gesture to get you trying their tools.
If you like this one, maybe in the future you’ll try / buy another tool:
Hide and Encrypt Data – Get Hider2 now!
Duplicate File Finder / Eliminator – Gemini 2 (Mac)
Keep your PC clean and running like new – CleanMyPC
You can find details, and a complete list of all the tools at the MacPaw Store
Encryption – AES-256
Secure any file with AES-256 encryption : Encrypto takes any file or folder and adds AES-256 encryption to it. With encryption, you know your file is incredibly secure and that only the right person can access it.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) takes fixed block size of 128 bits of data to process with a user generated encryption key (sized at either 128, 192, or 256 bits). The data is crunched a number of times (“rounds”) before getting to final file – 10 rounds for 128-bit keys, 12 rounds for 192-bit keys, and 14 rounds for 256-bit keys.
How secure is this? A number of papers have been published on cracking AES file. Generally speaking, a 126-bit key would longer than the universe has been around to crack with brute force on current and foreseeable hardware. The best known attacks on AES with a 128 bit key requires storing 2^88 bits of data (about 38 trillion terabytes of data), which is more than all the data stored on all the computers on the planet.
OK, that’s secure.
- Send Password Hints – Instead of relaying a password, include a unique, embedded password hint that only the recipient would be able to decipher. It’ll also help you remember what the password is for your saved files.
- iOS – Send Files Using OS X Sharing, Share encrypted files via Mail, AirDrop, or Messages, or even share them with third-party apps like Dropbox.
- Windows – Similar to iOS, you can email files or transfer them to Cloud storage.
- Multi-Platform – Encrypt and Decrypt on Both Mac and Windows. Share files with friends on either operating system (sorry Android / Linux, not available yet). You use a Mac, your friend uses Windows — you both can encrypt and send files to each other with Encrypto.
- Save Them to Disk – With Encrypto, you can encrypt your files even if you don’t need to send them.
Download free app for iOs or Windows to get started
Need More Motivation?
This article from Alphr gives some good rationale for encrypting files that you are storing on Cloud providers, and for knowing your terms of service. FYI, your cloud service provider itself may decide to check into your files looking for evidence of illegal material or possibly for other reasons, or they may be required to turn over any / all files as requested by police, FBI or other government agencies.
Related – Best Cloud Storage Providers for more information on DropBox, iCloud, Google Drive, MicroSoft OneDrive, etc.
If you are truly security conscious, you may also want to consider USB Flash Drives with built-in 256-bit AES for all files. Here’s our review of the Best Secure Flash Drives to get you started.