Even though you are already running internet security software, it is also a good idea to run PC encryption software in the name of doing everything possible to stay safe. Unless you encrypt your files, any thief who steals your laptop might win a bonanza. And if you send unencrypted files by email, hackers can intercept and steal the attachments. Unfortunately, it is not just defense against thieves and hackers that calls for file encryption. In a post Snowden world, freedom lovers who wish to secure individual boundaries vis-à-vis Big Brother are asking “What is the best encryption software?” The best in our review and winner of the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award is Folder Lock file encryption software, which combines strong encryption with a suite of useful data protection tools.
Folder Lock employs 256-bit AES file encryption. AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is an encryption specification the U.S. government and U.S military use around the world. Files encrypted to such a standard cannot soon be decrypted without a key. In fact, brute force deciphering of a 256-bit encrypted file would require billions of super computers running longer than the age of the known universe.
A master password controls your ability to encrypt and lock files in a storage file that Folder Lock refers to as a Locker. The included password-strength meter helps build strong passwords. It is impossible to remove a Locker unless you know the password. In the interest of maximum security, if you lose your password there is no way to recover it. Just as there is no backdoor that the publisher of Folder Lock could provide to law enforcement, there is no master key. Furthermore, your password is never saved on disk or in the Windows registry. As if these measures were not safe enough, you can use Folder Lock’s virtual keyboard to enter the password in such a way that thwarts keyloggers. In addition to Lockers, the software also provides a feature called a Wallet, which lets you encrypt personal information such as credit card numbers, licenses and passports.
One of the Locker options enables online backup to the company's storage servers, which turns out to be a portability aid in that you can conveniently restore any of the backed-up files from the Folder Lock cloud to different computers and devices as long as you know the password. There is much more, however, to the portability features. For instance, it is possible to convert the Lockers into standalone Portable Locker files that you can copy to USB drives or burn to CDs and DVDs. Portable Lockers are self-executable, which means that the recipient doesn’t need to be running the Folder Lock file encryption application but needs the password from you. Similarly, to distribute encrypted email attachments, you create an encrypted zip file that the recipient unzips with a unique password from you.
More than just a utility for encrypting a file, Folder Lock includes additional security features to augment its encryption capabilities. For example, if anyone makes multiple incorrect password attempts, the application will shut itself down, log off of Windows and perform a system shutdown. Another example, Clean History, improves privacy by removing traces of recent computer activity. Without Clean History, your personal behavior and information accumulates in Windows Temporary Files, the Clipboard and various application histories. Simple deletion is not enough to secure you from forensic data recovery software, however, which is why Folder Lock has an extra feature that shreds files and empties hard drive space such that even the FBI would fail at resurrecting your deleted data.
The manual is online along with tutorials and help. The only access to the publisher is via email.
Folder Lock’s triumph over competing encryption software is a function of its extensive list of security features that complement encryption. The 256-bit AES encryption software conforms and performs to a specification level deemed strong enough for the U.S. government. The various ways that Folder Lock allows you to encrypt a file demonstrate that the publisher understands how to design a product that people will use (25 million people, according to Folder Lock’s publisher). In addition to encrypting files, you will also have access to additional security features that work together to preserve confidentiality in a world where so many are working hard to violate your privacy.
In addition to encryption, Folder Lock includes useful encryption features such as confidential email and secure backup.
Customer support is restricted to email.
Folder Lock provides Windows users with an excellent security toolkit with the same strong encryption that the U.S. government uses.