Security issues? CryptoForgettaboutit!

Keep your stuff safe from prying eyes and bad guys with this encryption program.

We all have secrets, but growing problems like identity theft put a premium on cybersecurity. Safety need not be costly, though: Encryption programs such as CryptoForge can help you protect your stuff. CryptoForge can encode your files and messages in up to four algorithms, which are strong enough protection to let you store items on unsecured media such as the flash drives and memory sticks and send things safely over the Internet. It has a built-in file shredder that does much more than delete files and folders, too.

CryptoForge's installation wizard speeds the setup process. The 30-day trial version is limited to a 14-character passphrase, but, to protect the integrity of your encrypted files, the decryption never expires. Also, there's no nag screen. Right-clicking the (optional) System Tray icon calls up a simple tabbed Dialog box. Among the tabbed functions is the shredder. CryptoForge wisely recommends users not defeat its warning mechanism since it will really scrub your disk: You can set it to overwrite files up to 99 times. Another tab controls compression, which improves security. You can also set CryptoForge to skip system files, run at startup, or show a progress window for long runs.

CryptoForge is well worth trying since, even if you decide not to buy it, the files you encrypt with it will stay protected and accessible. It's a simple-to-use program that offers about as strong a level of encryption as you can get, though, so for $30 for the full version, it's cheap protection.

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