Suggest encryption software for those who must frequently access/edit protected files/folders

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by paulescobar, May 2, 2013.

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  1. paulescobar

    paulescobar Registered Member

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    I know there are existing topics on encryption software. But none of the existing topics answered my specific concerns.

    On a security basis...I require any encryption software that can prevent unauthorized users access:
    - Within any installed operating systems
    - Within any "live cd" type operating systems
    - Within any "workarounds" such as imaging solutions

    There are clearly many options in this regard.

    But one a practical basis...I must constantly "work with" the files that are protected:
    - These are documents, media, images, etc.
    - These files must be frequently accessed/edited/saved in relevant softwares.
    - These must also be indexed in various organizational softwares (bookmarks, search, shortcuts, etc.) so they require an actual physical file path (even if it maybe temporary)

    I am not aware of any options in this later regard.

    I would appreciate the community's wisdom. Please provide any suggestions or feedback.
     
  2. S.B.

    S.B. Registered Member

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    Hmm... I'm probably missing something. If so, it certainly wouldn't be the first time; nor the last.

    Each and every item you identify can be readily encrypted with TrueCrypt; computer partitions, computer system, live cd, etc. You can have the same or different strong passwords for each which can ensure the unauthorized access you require (within limits, of course, relating specifically to physical security of your password(s) and your system).

    So long as as you have encrypted each of the items you identify, you can securely use and access items within one encrypted item, using assets of another encrypted item. If the different items are physically connected to each other (via physical wires such as usb cables or the like, or physical connections via a motherboard or other hardware within a single computer case) it should be a generally straightforward process to ensure you have security as you work between and among the multiple encrypted items.

    If the multiple encrypted items are not physically connected then you will have to add processes for encryption of communications to your set up, i.e., encrypted tunnels and the like.

    TrueCrypt includes features such as "favorite volumes" to make working with multiple encrypted items easier than it would be otherwise.

    Long story short, it seems to me that you can achieve your goals by multiple encrypted items, such as those you have mentioned. Backups of those items can also be placed on a separate encrypted drive, btw. I've used multiple encrypted items, via TrueCrypt, and have found same to be achievable with relative ease and efficiency, and recommend this approach. To be clear, I'm suggesting you encrypt everything. It does make computer life a little more difficult, but the difficulties are less than you might expect. TrueCrypt was designed to deal with multiple encryptions.

    To the extent I've not understood and/or addressed your goals, perhaps my answer will assist in fleshing out of your goals and concerns.

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    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  3. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    Axcrypt does not meet your needs?

    If you use always the same (safe&long) password for all files, maybe stored within Keepass or similar, then it should be easy.
     
  4. paulescobar

    paulescobar Registered Member

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    To all,

    I have only a basic understanding of encryption softwares. So I harbour the ignorant assumption that they work like password-protected ".zip" files. While "protected", they are zipped and inaccessible. When access is needed, they must be "un-zipped", which can be a time-consuming process.

    Hence, my concern about the ability to "work with" files that are subject to encryption software.

    Let me give you an example scenario...

    I design within Adobe Creative Suite for my work. I must frequently access/create/edit/save various proprietary stock-image resources.

    These image resources must be protected from unauthorized access & distribution. Hence, the need for "encryption" software.

    What I fear is that the encryption might hamper my workflow.

    - If I need to quickly access/edit/save an encrypted PhotoShop ".psd" project...will I be able to do it with the same speed/ease as accessing an un-encrypted copy?
    - If I use an image-thumbnail-indexing software like "AcDsee", which depends on file-paths...will it recognize my encrypted files, or will I have to "decrypt" (considering the thousands of files involved, speed would then be a concern)?

    I hope this clarifies what I am getting at.

    EDIT: Ideally, what I would like is some encryption software that can "release" or "reveal" ALL my files while I work with them. Then "protect" those files when not needed. This "reveal" & "protect" should be done in a speedy manner.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  5. S.B.

    S.B. Registered Member

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    To answer your questions;

    So long as you have a relatively modern and capable system, you should find that good encryption software, like Truecrypt, does not slow down your system to any noticeable extent. Even with a slow system, such as a netbook, people say that the impact on computing speed is barely noticeable.

    In my case, my Windows 7 system is fully encrypted. It doesn't even hurt playing games. There is an impact, but it isn't noticeable because TrueCrypt has been designed to include processes such as hard drive caching processes that minimize any impact. Many modern CPU's also have built in processes to accelerate encryption, but with or without the best CPU, the impact will still be minimal.

    I must remember a 20+ character password. In order to boot up my computer, I must enter that password. Then everything is precisely the same as though my system were not encrypted. This type of encryption is called "transparent". I use my system as though the encryption is not there; and I don't notice that it is there. If my computer is turned off, no one can access my computer.

    It's a different story if I log on to my encrypted system then leave the computer on and alone and unattended after I have logged into my encrypted system.

    Once I log on, I can also use other hard drive partitions that are encrypted with a different password. I click the TrueCrypt icon in the system tray; click on "mount favorite volumes" and enter a single password. Then the other drives appear with the predetermined drive letters (D, E, F, or whatever) that I have previously assigned to them. This happens virtually instantaneously after I enter my password. After I mount them, these other drives operate in the same manner as though they were not encrypted. The encryption is invisible to Windows 7, while the drives are mounted. But the drives are secure before I mount them, and after I dismount them. Anyone who accesses data on the drives while they are unmounted will find only gobbledygook.

    In my case, the additional drives are dismounted when my computer goes to "sleep". But here again, if I leave the drives mounted, and leave the room, house or office unattended, anyone can walk in and access the mounted drives.

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    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  6. paulescobar

    paulescobar Registered Member

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    S.B.,

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Rather than encrypt the operating system drive, I would encrypt some internally & externally connected "data drives". Perhaps this might minimize any perceived toll taken on system resources.

    While the TrueCrypt website was a bit vague & confusing, a focused online search clarified things. I was particularly educated by these tutorials:
    http://tyradux.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/how-to-encrypt-an-external-hard-drive-with-truecrypt/
    http://www.edb.utexas.edu/education/centers/ltc/services/technet/tutorials/security/2185/

    I will try TrueCrypt and report back later - on speed and efficiency.
     
  7. S.B.

    S.B. Registered Member

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    That's an excellent way to start, and very well may end up completely satisfying all of your encryption needs.

    One BIG RECOMMENDATION -- get some good BACKUP SOFTWARE and space for backups. Then use it to back up your encrypted data to an encrypted drive or partition. Make regular backups and in the event of a problem, you're all set to fix things. Otherwise if you somehow lose the encrypted data, you may find yourself "up the proverbial creek without a paddle".

    People here at Wilders are generally, in my experience, kind, knowledgeable and ready to help. As you implement your solution, feel free to ask for help.

    And Good Luck to you.
     
  8. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    I think for you it's maybe more comfy to use Cloudfogger than TC: it can encrypt folders seamlessly.
     
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