When talking about encryption applications, my good buddy Glenn Taggart likes to say, “My primary use is encrypting my personal information in the event prying eyes happen upon my stuff.”
I can’t argue with that. Financial data and other privileged information on a computer can easily be subject to intrusive viewing by those not authorized to do so.
Of course, it’s not only those with physical access that can probe a computer for sensitive and confidential information. Internet malware attack statistics show, more and more, that this type of information is targeted by hackers/information thieves, for the purpose of identity theft.
Can it happen to you? The short answer is – you can count on an attempt. The reality is; there is no such thing as a totally secured internet connected computer. All internet connected computers are subject to attack.
As well, many of us have additional files that we may consider sensitive and confidential. Files that we don’t want a spouse, girlfriend, a child, or others, to have ready access to.
To reduce or eliminate the security threat to your sensitive data, the most prudent course for you to follow is to encrypt your data. Data encryption makes the data unreadable unless, or until, decrypted by you.
I’ve just finished testing the recently released Encrypt Stick digital privacy application, which is available in both a free version and a commercial version, and I have to say, I’m very impressed.
Encrypt Stick runs directly (and only), from a USB drive which guarantees that no foot print is left on your machine.
On launching the application, which must be launched from the flash drive to which it was downloaded (or in my case copied), the following screen appears. The process of encryption is very straightforward from there, as the screen captures below indicate.
After activation (in this case the free version), you will be prompted for a password.
The first time you run Encrypt Stick digital privacy software, you’ll be presented with a quick tutorial which explains the basic steps so that you can get up and running quickly. A very cool idea!
Please be aware that you must enter your password before you can gain access to the application.
Double clicking on the new vault (First Vault), which I’ve created on my D drive, allows access to all of the application’s functions.
In this case, I encrypted a test file (application) – TaskBar Repair Tool. You’ll notice I have the option of removing this file (the unencrypted version), from my D drive or, leaving it on the drive as is.
The end result is, the test file is now safely encrypted and stored in “First Vault”. To ensure the file was stable, I then launched the application directly from inside the vault.
Here’s how the developer describes Encrypt Stick:
Encrypt Stick digital privacy software turns any Flash Drive into a personal Digital Privacy Manager (DPM). The DPM is the key that locks down privacy for your sensitive digital files.
It’s a complete file security system for all your desktops, laptops, storage devices and portable USB devices. Most utilities can do only part of the job. Encrypt Stick software does it all, quicker and easier — without expensive hardware.
This application is very substantial, and includes a vast number of features. However, the free version is limited to 20 MB of storage. Still, an average user should find this limitation acceptable.
Fast Facts – Free version:
Free Downloadable Updates
No Administrator Access Necessary to setup or run Encrypt Stick
Setup and running in under 5 minutes!
Easy to use – no learning curve
Compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Win7
Compatible with Mac OS 10.4+
Encrypt Stick runs from your flash drive – not your computer
Uses 512bit Polymorphic Encryption
Encryption Algorithm is unique to each Flash Drive
High speed encryption
Protects any type of digital file
Encrypted Vault’s are hidden from other users
Encrypted Flash Drive Storage Space 20mb
Store Encrypted Vaults on any computer
Store Encrypted Vaults on Network Servers
Protects Files and folders on any type of storage device
Unlimited Folders – Create folders within Vaults to organize your files
Automatic Timeout Feature – Never leave your files exposed 5 minutes
Encrypted Virtual Keyboard – Eliminate Key Stroke Logging
And lots more
System requirements: Mac OSX 10.4+, Windows XP, Vista, Win 7.
Download at: the developer’s site (ENC).
As an added bonus, Encrypt Stick includes both a password manager, and a virtual keyboard. Testing of both these additional features was outside the scope of this review, however.
To get a feel for just how easy this application is to run, checkout – Walkthroughs – Encrypting Files To Your Flash Drive, on the developer’s site.
The following are additional free encryption applications we’ve previously reviewed here:
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