With cloud hosting taking over much of what we are hosting locally right now in the next ten years or so, it becomes important to protect your remotely saved data from unauthorized access. Some cloud hosting providers encrypt the data automatically, but that is still no guarantee that your data is safe. The algorithm used might be flawed, or the company might retain the right to decrypt your data at any time. This can for instance happen when authorities ask them to do that.
The only solution to this problem is to encrypt your data on your own before you shove it into the cloud. We reviewed BoxCryptor before which added an encrypted layer around your data before it was transferred to Dropbox.
DataLocker provides a similar service. The program is available for Windows and Mac operating system, as well as mobile systems running Apple's iOS system (iPad and iPhone currently only).
You need to request the software on the developer site by filling out a form there. The download link will be in the email that you receive after filling out the form.
When you install the program you see a basic interface where all of the encrypting and decrypting takes place.
The program will save the encrypted files by default in the same directory the source file is stored in. This is great if you want to secure your local files. If you want to move them to the cloud, you need to manually move them into the right directory or copy them over. Doing that is not overly comfortable though, especially since you can only encrypt files and not folders and all of the files stored inside.
To encrypt files, drag and drop them into the program interface, select a password and change the destination directory if you want. Encrypted files are saved with an ALK extension on the system.
Decrypting works in the same way, only that you need to drag and drop the encrypted files into the program interface instead.
DataLocker is a simple program. It could use a few settings that would make it more usable, like the ability to encrypt folders or better automation to move encrypted files directly into the Dropbox folder.
The Windows version of the program supports both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the operating system. It requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 to be installed on the system.
Update: Datalocker is no longer available on the developer website. We have removed the link and suggest you use a program like True Crypt instead.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.