Whenever I come across a well-written program that not only takes care of a need I have, but also has no price tag, I write about it. This article is about a piece of software called AxCrypt by Axantum. AxCrypt is a cool little program that does quite a few things. But mainly, it password protects (or encrypts) files on your Windows computer. Sorry, no MAC version yet, but I’m sure there are solutions out there for you Apple owners too. Anyways, on with the article!
I used to keep all of my passwords in a password protected file on my computer. Unfortunately, the security I was using was simply the built in, basic protection that comes with Excel. It was better than nothing, but it was also not very protected. There are many programs designed to crack passwords, and ones for Excel are no exception (and easy to find).
That’s when I decided to search for a solution. Luckily, it was a quick search. Also, like most software I write about, it’s free! The program is called AxCrypt. It is what’s known as 128-bit file encryption software. In other words, it protects someone from opening and viewing your files.
After you install the program, all you need to do is view your files and folders (you can open My Computer), and right-click on the file or folder you want to encrypt, then select AxCrypt…Encrypt. It will ask you for a password. Once you enter it, your file is protected.
What does “protected” mean? It means that no one can access your files but you.
So, do you even need to encrypt your files? Maybe you really have nothing on your computer you’re concerned about. Or, perhaps you only use it to store the images from your digital camera, or save word processing documents.
So consider this: If everyone in the world suddenly had access to all your files, would you be the least bit concerned?
If you answered yes, then perhaps encrypting them is the answer. One of the great things about AxCrypt is that you can choose to encrypt any file, or not. It’s always just a right-click away and just runs in the background ready to use when needed.
Here are a few examples of what files you may want to encrypt:
- Saved emails
- Bank & financial statements
- Pictures & video
- Password files (a file you create to store all your passwords)
- Christmas present list
- Games you don’t want your kids to play
- Files you store on your USB drive
- For Your Eyes Only work files
The list is endless. But hopefully you get the idea. Encryption may be a foreign concept to many readers, but it doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of it as a safeguard to protect your files. Just think, if your computer ever gets stolen, at least the thief won’t have access to “that” file.
You can read more about AxCrypt here.
Note: I have no affiliation with Axantum and AxCrypt. I am just spreading the word on good software.