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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A+ Folder Locker: Powerful Data Encryption, Steganography & File Shredding Tool

Massive changes in information technology over the past few years, have almost doubled (or maybe tripled) the amount of data proliferation on our computers. This has also led to some major security concerns, that is, as more and more information is being available digitally, companies are trying to employ various security techniques to keep such delicate information safe. One of the most proficient ways to keep your files confidential – which include videos, picture, documents, credit card information etc – is to encrypt them using some security software. Folder lockers and other file handling tools come in handy to perform the said operation. Back in June, I covered a data encryption software labeled Toolwiz BSafe, which let you create file Safes and mount them as virtual drives. A+ Folder Locker is more or less a similar application, but with much more robust security elements. Akin to safes in BSafe, the application lets you create encrypted Lockers. These lockers can be password protected or pattern protected, whichever seems feasible to you. What’s more, it also packs steganography and file shredding features. Another benefit it has over other similar tools is that it lets you input encryption password using an integrated virtual keyboard, making it harder to crack...

After installation, don’t forget to restart your computer, or else the application may not work. When reviewing any application, I always make careful observations of GUI. Interestingly, A+ Folder Locker didn’t disappoint. Its interface has Lockers, Data Concealing, Tools and Settings options to the left, while to the right, it provides a list of your recently opened lockers.
A  Folder Locker
To get started, first of all you need to make a new locker. Click Create New Locker to the left and specifyLocker Name, Category, Location and Size. Click Next, and then specify an optional Compression Levelsetting before continuing.
A  Folder Locker_Locker
You can also encrypt the contents within the locker using various encryption algorithms, such as 3DES, Blowfish, Cast128, Ice, RC2. RC4, Twofish, Thinice, Tea etc. More so, you have the choice to use the password type; Text or Pattern. The built-in Virtual keyboard comes in handy to type a password without leaving keystroke traces. While password based security measures are already something mainstream,Pattern is a bit different concept.
A  Folder Locker_Password Type
Albeit not unique, Pattern is a bit harder to crack. Pattern requires you to connect different nodes in order to create connected line. You can possibly create countless distinct combinations.
A  Folder Locker_Set Pattern
The tool also includes an Anti-Hacking Protection. What it does is it destroys the selected locker if the specified number of wrong password attempts are reached. Once you have configured all the aforementioned settings, click Finish to create and mount the locker drive.
All the created locker files appear under locker manager. The manager gives an overview of a locker’s security status, anti-hacking protection, lock/unlock status and location. It also lets you know of the total amount of space left in the selected locker. Mounted lockers appear next to your hard drive partitions under Computer, and work the same way as a physical drive. Users of BitLocker or TrueCrypt would already know what I’m referring to here.
A  Folder Locker_Manage
As mentioned earlier, the software can also conceal your important files within an image. It’s a steganography technique which makes an actual file hidden under a devious or fake file. You can specify a password and encryption algorithm the same way as you would in protecting a locker file.
A  Folder Locker_Hide Files
The third major feature I found was the tool’s file shredding ability. File Shredder is accessible from theTools menu to the left. Simply drag your files over the application window, click the Shred button and you’re done.
A  Folder Locker_Shredder
A+ Folder Locker packs a serious punch of features that can protect your confidential data from prying eyes. It is available as Free and Standard (Paid) editions. However, the developers haven’t provided any clear explanation about the differences between the two variants. The program works on all versions of Windows.


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