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Old 04-18-2018, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Canada
6,020 posts, read 4,406,271 times
Reputation: 16420

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blktoptrvl View Post
Put them into a folder, and then zip and password protect that folder. You can then readily access the files whenever you want - with a password, and they are no longer at risk to casual viewers.
Thanks blk, this sounds like something I could figure out. I'll have to figure out how to password protect it. I tried last night but I was too tired.

Re: incrypting files... I've never done that and haven't got a clue how to do it. My luck, I'd do it and wouldn't be able to access my files again.

I need someone standing beside me to show me how to do things. I wish I'd been born in the computer age

Thanks all!
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:50 AM
 
3,000 posts, read 3,130,837 times
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I used to use a piece of software called TrueCrypt***. It creates a secure "container" within your computer that is encrypted. You place files you want in there. When you want to view the files, you mount the container and enter a password and it un-encrypts the file. You can set it up to secure the file again either after a set amount of time, or when you logout or after you lock your PC. If it is your home PC, probably having it simply timeout is best.

I always found it secure.

***I will say that at some point the developers of the software said that they stopped supporting it and that Windows had a "better solution" - whole drive encryption. I remember my Windows 7 Home copy didn't support it. You can probably google a better solution than TrueCrypt. But there are encryption container software out there to do the job. Or maybe Microsoft has given native support to drive encryption.

I personally didn't like drive encryption because I didn't need GB of secure files. I need about 10MB or so. No need to force encryption on a whole drive like that.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,849 posts, read 13,973,633 times
Reputation: 8083
Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
I wish I'd been born in the computer age :
It's never too late.

Are you on Windows 10? There are several FREE Windows 10 apps that will do this for you simply and easily.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/stor...r/9mzj3779cjct
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,633 posts, read 3,966,539 times
Reputation: 4504
Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
I'm sorry but I'm lacking in anything but basic computer jargon or skills. I have no idea how to encrypt a disk and I know you'll think that this is a really dumb question, but what disk?

How do I know what saved options I have?
Probably best not to encrypt the drive at your skill level. Bitlocker is a program which comes with windows and you can google on how to use it. You could encrypt a USB drive and put your files on that drive. I would also make a copy of the files on an un encrypted USB drive so you have a back up if you get in trouble.

To password protect a file that you made with a windows program, say excell, click File, Save As and then to the left of the save button is the word tools and a small triangle. Click on the triangle and select General Options. You can then enter a password to open the file and a password to open in read only mode (person can not make changes to the file). Again you might want to put a copy of the file on a USB drive incase you forget your password.

A question is why do you leave your computer on. I would start to turn it off when you are not likely to use it for a few hours. You could select sleep mode when you turn it off and it will start up a little faster.

Note if someone removed your disk drive from your computer they could probably access your files. Thus password protection and encryption are the tools you have for protection. You could google these terms and learn how to do this. It is not difficult but if you forget your password you can not access the files.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:10 PM
 
Location: SC
8,796 posts, read 5,882,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
Thanks blk, this sounds like something I could figure out. I'll have to figure out how to password protect it. I tried last night but I was too tired.

Re: incrypting files... I've never done that and haven't got a clue how to do it. My luck, I'd do it and wouldn't be able to access my files again.

I need someone standing beside me to show me how to do things. I wish I'd been born in the computer age

Thanks all!
You'll need the right version of a zip utility, they don't all support passwords. Try 7-Zip.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:03 AM
 
40,290 posts, read 41,836,137 times
Reputation: 16800
Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
I have a computer/tower with Windows 7 Pro.

I have many files and folders on my desktop. Some of them are just folders with "stuff" in them like photos, trip information or grocery lists, etc, but some of them have information that wouldn't be good for someone to find if they were able to log onto my computer. (which is password protected but I leave it on almost all the time)

I've done a search to see if I can lock the folders with a password, but so far I haven't found anything. You'd think that these days with hackers, there should be a very simple way of securing files and folders with a password on a desktop.

What do YOU do to secure folders and files on your computer? Do you use an online service? IF so, what do you use, or do you have any other recommendations as to how I can secure my files and folders?

I'd rather not use an online service because THEY can be hacked or the web service just shuts down for whatever reason.
The only way to secure it is to encrypt it, permissions and passwords within windows depend on the Windows OS.

For example you can download a copy of Knoppix. This is placed on CD/DVD, you boot the computer from that and it's a fully functional OS. With that you can browse whatever files you want on the hard drive, it can care less about the Windows passwords or folder permissions/passwords. It's a very easy way to recover files from a hard drive if for example Windows will not load and the drive itself is fine.

If you only need to protect a few files you can use something like 7Zip which will allow you to create zip files with passwords. It will keep prevent Joe Schmoe from viewing it. Unlikely will it stop someone from an alphabet agency.

Ideally to protect the data you use full disk encryption, it's fully supported in newer versions of windows. On Win7 it's supported but I forget which versions. That's only half of it because you really need the hardware that supports it, many computers now have the same type of technology available that the FBI is bitching about in the Iphones.

Briefly to securely encrypt something you need a very long key that can be hundreds or even thousands of characters long, I'm not going to say impossible but this type of encryption is likely unbreakable by anyone. Being able to utilize such a long key is what makes it hard for the average person to use secure encryption because no one is going to remember such a long string of characters and keeping an external copy is security risk itself. That's where the hardware comes in. That chip performs a variety of tasks when the computer boots like a hardware integrity check to insure nothing has been tampered with. It also holds that very long key that has been used to encrypt the data on the hard disk. To access the long key you have a very short password, to prevent hacking the chip may only allow so many attempts or time bar attempts.

It can also be set to do various things, for example it could be set to destroy the key after X failed attempts making the data on the drive permanently inaccessible.

If you want an analogy here suppose you have this monster safe that cannot be broken into by anyone. Trouble is the safe requires this 50 pound key which of course you cannot carry around with you. You store it in a little safe next to the big safe. to prevent the little safe from being compromised you booby trap it to destroy the key inside if some uses the wrong combination.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Canada
6,020 posts, read 4,406,271 times
Reputation: 16420
Thank you ALL for your suggestions.

I'm going to look in to all of them and figure out which one is best suited for me. As I say, some of my files have confidential information on them that I'd like to keep more secure, but I don't need a "monster safe with a 50 pound key"
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:11 AM
 
40,290 posts, read 41,836,137 times
Reputation: 16800
Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
Thank you ALL for your suggestions.

I'm going to look in to all of them and figure out which one is best suited for me. As I say, some of my files have confidential information on them that I'd like to keep more secure, but I don't need a "monster safe with a 50 pound key"
The monster safe with 50 pound key is the easiest and most secure but it requires the correct hardware/software. If you have a phone you are already using it.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
25,232 posts, read 18,698,996 times
Reputation: 29769
Are you more worried about the physical security of the computer with the computer being stolen or hackers getting in and getting into certain directories and such?

For passwords, I use an encrypted password manager. I use KeePass. This program creates a encrypted database, and you set the password for it. I use a password that I've historically used for the password manager, and I don't use this password anywhere else. Once you input the database password, you can then add user IDs, passwords, URLs, and comments. I also have the database file in my iCloud and have an iPhone KeePass app so I have access to the passwords everywhere I go.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:25 AM
 
7,249 posts, read 5,709,178 times
Reputation: 7963
I would just use Veracrypt (it is essentially just TrueCrypt, after TrueCrypt was abandoned).

Once you've got the basics, it's easy and pretty transparent. The encrypted container will show up as a drive in Windows that you can read from and write too like any other drive. You can dismount it when you're done so no one can access the contents.
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