10 Free Softwares for Protecting Private Files and Folders

Sometimes if there are many users who use the same computer it becomes a little difficult to protect your data, especially if you have certain confidential info, passwords, private pics, videos, etc. For this reason it’s very essential to have a good protection software. Files are usually protected by making them invisible or by assigning a password. File protection software’s are usually very expensive. But there are a few softwares available for free which do the job. I compiled a small list after carrying out a big search for the available freewares, here they are:

1. TrueCrypt:
TrueCrypt is a free Open-Source disk Encryption software. It is one of the strongest consumer encryption tool. Normally if you want to get such a file encryption software you have to pay a lot as they are expensive.
a. To start with download TrueCrypt and install.
b. Once you’re done start the application and click on “Create Volume” button to launch the wizard that prepares the encrypted drive location.
c. Now, click on the “Select File” button and navigate to a location to store your encrypted files and type a name for it. (Note that all your files which are to protected will go in here)
d. Choose your encryption algorithm. (AES is preferred) now click “Next” and set the virtual drive size. ( for instance 100MB)
e. Now, Type a password for your volume ( 20 characters)
f. The last step is formatting the volume, click on the “Format” button to format. Don’t worry it will just format the volume and not your hard drive.
That’s it now you can easily dump your files and folders in to the volume. To do so choose “Select File” and navigate to the volume file you created, now select an available drive letter from the list, click “mount” and enter the password to access the volume you had created previously. Now you can access the volume in “My computer”. You can drag and drop files in to it for protection. Once you’re done, go to TrueCrypt, select the mounted drive and click on the “Dismount” button.
NOTE: You can also use the software without actually installing it. To do so just copy truecrypt.exe, truecrypt.sys, and the encrypted volume in to the pen drive. You can launch the app by plugging in the pen drive and by clicking on truecrypt.exe. You can access the encrypted volume from there.

2. My Lockbox:
My Lockbox is an user friendly security software enabling you to password protect any folder on your computer. To start with you need to set the lockbox location and the password, once you’re done the lockbox will be hidden. It can be opened only when you enter the valid password.

3. Protect your passwords using KeePass Password Safe:
KeePass Password Safe allows you to keep your passwords safe. Nowadays having email accounts, website logins, online passwords, etc it has become really difficult for one to remember all of them. Using KeePass you can store and access different passwords with ease. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key-disk. So you only have to remember one single master password or insert the key-disk to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

4. Free Hide Folder 2.0:
Free Hide Folder 2.0 is a small (just 743 KB) and easy to use software for hiding your folders. The folders become completely invisible after they are hidden. To view the hidden folders, you need to enter a password then unhide it. Pretty easy to use isn’t it?

5. Encrypt Files:
Encrypt Files is a freeware for protecting your files and folders from unauthorized viewing. Using this software you can encrypt and password protect both files and folders. The software supports up to 13 encryptions methods including Blowfish, Cast, Ice, Mars RC 2,6 and 4, Rijn Dael, Tripple Des. It also has a powerful file shredder integrated so you can permanently remove unwanted files from your system.

6. fSekrit:
fSekrit is a small application for keeping encrypted notes. Using this software you can turn a plain text file into a password-protected .exe file. fSekrit uses very strong encryption (256-bit AES/Rijndael in CBC mode) to ensure that your data is never at risk. It’s compatible with all versions of Windows.

7. File Crypt:
File Crypt is a freeware program for file protection. File Crypt can encrypt and decrypt files with strong encryption method. For encryption you need to choose a password which will be later used for decryption. Encrypted files will be in .rzx format. Program is translated in 25 languages.

8. MEO File Encryption:
MEO is a powerful data encryption application for encrypting or decrypting any type of file, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PDF documents. Meo allows you to create and verify MD5 checksums, SHA-1 hashes and Tiger Tree hashes. Using this software you can also create self-extracting encrypted files. It has a great user friendly interface and a sleek look as well. It’s compatible with almost all versions of Windows.

9. WinGuard Pro:
WinGuard Pro allows you to protect your Windows applications, programs and EXE files. It also provides encryption for your files, folders and drives – direct from Windows Explorer. Apart from these features it also allows you to disable Task Keys, Software Installation, Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox, Downloading Files, Zip and Self Extracting Files and the Boot Keys (F8).
There are two versions of the software- Free and Premium. Certain features aren’t available in the free version. You can check here for the differences in the two versions.
10. 7-Zip:
It’s mainly a utility for archiving files. Apart from this it also offers a handy feature of protecting an archive with a password. Browsing the files is possible even without password but to extract you need the password.

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