Encryption is a very useful data protection mechanism by which files and folders are ‘rewritten’ using algorithm(s) making them unreadable to all systems and individuals except those possessing the encryption key. Admittedly, Windows operating home desktops and business laptops feature their own encryption applications, but there are many free tools available that would do a more competent job.
Furthermore, they will definitely be more portable options.
I have five recommendations and a few introductory words for each:
- Encrypt Files does free encryption using 13 algorithms. This program can also delete and permanently dispose of the original file.
- MEO Encryption Software is a particularly useful program that is able to encrypt almost any file including emails and attachments.
- TrueCrypt is a scarily potent tool. With ability to create virtual encrypted disks within a file (encrypted disks are displayed as real disks), it can encrypt entire hard disk partitions or storage devices such as USB drives.
- Cryptainer LE is a functional program that uses a very familiar drag and drop concept. It works by setting up 128 bit strong encrypted containers/vaults to store any type of data.
- FreeOTFE is a portable open source application for PCs and PDAs (personal digital assistants).