Safely Secure your Documents
Security is a growing challenge in the age of information technology. Anyone who uses any kind of Tec is concerned with weather what they're doing or creating is being accessed without permission.
With this in mind, I use a free tool from Axantum, called Axcrypt. I use Axcrypt to secure my files on the desktop/ laptop/server. The tool allows me to encrypt and password protect any file, easily and quickly.
I then simply pass on this password to the intended receipt, to allow them access to the file.
If you have ever installed any software or driver on your machine, you will have no issues getting Axcrypt to install and run.
Let's run through the installation procedure and then the pratical application for Axcrypt.
Download the software from here;
- 1. Choose the operating system that you use on your machine, for most people the option AxCrypt-1.7.2867.0-Setup.exe 32- or 64- Bit. Will do.
- 2. Double click on the entry and begin the download.
- 3. Once the download is complete, double click on the file and begin the install.
- 4. Once you have agreed to the T&C's, on the next screen your asked if you would like to ''set AVG secure search as your default search provider'' I would advise you leave the tick box un checked. I'm sure you're happy with your current default search provider.
- 5. The rest of the install is pretty much straightforward, next and next is all you need to do and install the software in the default path on your hard drive.
- 6. At the end of the 30 second install you are asked to register the software using your email address, this is an option and you don't necessarily have to do this.
That's it! Axcrypt is installed and ready to use.
Practical application of Axcrypt
You can use Axcrypt to secure a file that only you need access to, so this could be a excel sheet containing the financial figures for last year's profits or other such sensitive information.
You can also share the file with someone, as long as you provide them with pass phrase, they too can access the file with ease.
Creating an encrypted file.
- Below we have an appropriately named file which we would like to secure.
- 1. I right click on the file and select the Axcrypt.
- 2. Your presented with some options, for the purpose of this introduction blog, we will stick to the basics, so select the option to Encrypt.
- 3. Now select a passphrase, this passphrase will be used to access the file later. Click ok.
- 4. Axcrypt will encrypt the file and create the file as seen below.
- 5. To access the file simply double click on it and enter the correct passphrase.
That's it! You encrypted and protected your file using Axcrypt.
As you can see Axcrypt is free and easy to use open source strong file encryption for Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista/2008/7, integrated with Windows Explorer. Encrypt, compress, decrypt, wipe, view and edit with a few mouse clicks. Cryptographic primitives are AES-128 and SHA-1.
To allow you to make the access to your file more secure you can use the key-file function.
This works by right clicking on a file and choosing the option ''Axcrypt'' and then ''Make Key File'' a random text file will be created. Now when you protect your files, you can use the passphrase and key-file option to secure your document.
In practice this means, without the key-file and the passphrase you will not be able to unlock the file.
I recommend you store this key-file on an usb stick and keep secure. In a real life scenario youwould provide the usb stick to whomever you wanted to share the encrypted file with, you would provide the usb stick and the passphrase to this person. They would receive the file and would be able to unlock the file using the key-file and the passphrase.
A group of people could use the same key-file to unlock multiple documents.
I hope this guide has been useful, thank you for reading.