Hide in plain sight

Keep your private and critical files safe from sight with this security tool.

Nearly everyone with a computer has files on it that they want to keep secure and private, for whatever reason. There are any number of utilities designed to hide folders from view, protect them with passwords, and otherwise prevent malicious damage, accidental deletion, and unauthorized access. Some do a better job than others, and it's doubtful that any are truly secure, given the pace of technological change, but you have a wide range of methods and features to choose from. LinSaSoft's Easy Folder Hider is one that promises user-friendliness and overall ease of use instead of enterprise-level security.

Easy Folder Hider's trial version opens with a very basic interface, just a dialog box with a tabular grid display and a taskbar containing only two items, the Options menu and a Help file. The typography has an old-school rasterized look that some may find appealing and quaint; others will simply think it's out of date. It's easy to use, though, and has some nice features, such opening and closing with hot keys and complete portability; you can even install it on a USB drive to secure folders on multiple machines. There's no backdoor: password-protected files can't be recovered without the password.

Easy Folder Hider is free to try and costs $29.95 to register. It installs cleanly but leaves Start and Program files behind after it's uninstalled. It's listed as working in "Windows." We tested it in XP and it worked fine, but though the x86 version installs in Windows 7, it wouldn't open.

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