encryption

Create password-protected docs on Mac and iOS with Password Pad

If you'd like to keep some of your files from prying eyes, Password Pad lets you create text documents and protect them with either XOR encryption or Triple DES encryption and share them via e-mail, iCloud, Dropbox, or iTunes file sharing.

There are free and paid versions of Password Pad in the Mac App Store. Password Pad Lite is free and supports XOR encryption, which the app itself admits "might be easily cracked." The $4.99 Password Pad app supplies stronger Triple DES encryption. I tried out the Lite version because all I am trying to do … Read more

Add a locked Vault to your phone

NQ Mobile Vault is the simplest application I've seen for keeping text messages, call history, contacts, photos, and videos private on your mobile device. Celebrities, pay attention.

Basically, Vault creates an encrypted, password-protected space on your device, in which you can store photos, videos, text messages, and call history. It's easy to move items into and out of the space, and you can even permanently delete them, if you'd like.

Once you create your password, there are a few ways to start using Vault. First, within the app, you can pull up all of your messages and … Read more

Wickr -- an iPhone encryption app a 3-year-old can use

Encryption hasn't made it to mainstream consumers because it isn't always easy to use and because the person at the other end needs to be using it too. A new free iOS app called Wickr solves at least the first of those issues.

Wickr, which is available on the iTunes store beginning today, offers military-grade encryption for protecting text, photo, audio, and video messages.

All messages you send disappear within six days, unless you want them to self-destruct earlier than that. You can also set individual messages to autodestruct within a set period of time after the recipient … Read more

Hide and protect data with LockDisk

If you like the idea of storing sensitive data safely, securely, and away from prying eyes, you need to create an encrypted virtual disk on your hard drive. That's easier than it sounds, thanks to Klonsoft's LockDisk. This tool creates encrypted, password-protected, hidden volumes in your system. You can specify the size of your volume to make sure you have enough space for your stuff without wasting disk space. LockDisk works in 32-bit Windows editions. Some users may need to right-click the program's Start menu entry or executable file and select Run as Administrator to use LockDisk. … Read more

Code crackers break 923-bit encryption record

Before today no one thought it was possible to successfully break a 923-bit code. And even if it was possible, scientists estimated it would take thousands of years.

However, over 148 days and a couple of hours, using 21 computers, the code was cracked.

Working together, Fujitsu Laboratories, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, and Kyushu University in Japan announced today that they broke the world record for cryptanalysis using next-generation cryptography.

"Despite numerous efforts to use and spread this cryptography at the development stage, it wasn't until this new way of approaching the problem was … Read more

WinRAR is a winner

WinRAR is a lightweight, flexible, and easy-to-use archiving utility that can unpack most archive formats, as well as compress to both RAR and ZIP. Free to try for 40 days ($29 for single license), WinRAR is a top dog in the compression category.

WinRAR's interface is about as simple as it gets. Start creating (or add to) an archive by dragging and dropping your files into the interface or by browsing through the Folder Tree side panel (when enabled). From there, the most common functions are laid out in the form of colorful, mostly intuitive icons along the top, … Read more

WinRAR is a winner

WinRAR is a lightweight, flexible, and easy-to-use archiving utility that can unpack most archive formats, as well as compress to both RAR and ZIP. Free to try for 40 days ($29 for single license), WinRAR is a top dog in the compression category.

WinRAR's interface is about as simple as it gets. Start creating (or add to) an archive by dragging and dropping your files into the interface or by browsing through the Folder Tree side panel (when enabled). From there, the most common functions are laid out in the form of colorful, mostly intuitive icons along the top, … Read more

Phil Zimmermann's post-PGP project: privacy for a price

He rocketed to privacy stardom over two decades ago with the release of PGP, the first widely available program that made it easy to encrypt e-mail. Now Phil Zimmermann wants to do the same thing for phone calls.

Zimmermann's new company, Silent Circle, plans to release a beta version of an iPhone and Android app in late July that encrypts phone calls and other communications. A final version is scheduled to follow in late September.

This time around, Zimmermann is facing not the possibility of prison time on charges of violating encryption export laws, but a more traditional challenge: … Read more

How to encrypt selected text and entire text files with Notepad++

Notepad++ is a popular text editor and Notepad replacement with many useful features. One of its best features is its support for plug-ins. NppCrypt is a Notepad++ plug-in that lets you encrypt selected text or entire text files. If you don't want to use BitLocker in Windows 7 or TrueCrypt, here's how you can use Notepad++ to encrypt your text files.

Install Notepad++ and NppCrypt plug-in

Step 1: Download and install Notepad++.

Step 2: Launch the plug-in manager by going to Plugins > Plugin Manager > Show Plugin Manager.

Step 3: Select NppCrypt from the plug-in list, then … Read more

Back up data, settings and more with Areca Backup

Areca Backup is a free, open-source, Java-based backup utility. It's designed to be extremely easy to use for backing up files, directories, and settings. It supports incremental, differential, and full backups. But it's not designed to be a primary system backup tool like Windows Backup or Acronis. It's a fast, lightweight, and easy-to-use tool for backing up, recovering, and searching your archives. It requires an up-to-date version of the Java Runtime Environment, a free download.

Areca Backup's user interface has a familiar layout and look. A left-hand sidebar let us select an archive to display, and … Read more