Five Best File Encryption Tools

2016.08.10 01

Keeping your personal data safe doesn’t have to be difficult—as long as you keep the sensitive stuff encrypted and under your control. That’s why this week we’re looking at the five best file encryption tools you can use to encrypt your data locally so only you have the key.

Earlier in the week we asked you for your favorite file encryption tools, and you gave us tons of great nominations, but as always, we only have room for the top five.

For the purposes of our roundup, we’re focusing on desktop file encryption tools – the ones you use on your own computer to encrypt your own private data, not cloud services that promise to encrypt your data, or business services that say they offer encryption. The goal here is to find the best tools you can use to lock down your sensitive files—whether they’re photos, financial documents, personal backups, or anything else—and keep them locked down so only you have the key. For those unfamiliar with the topic, we have a great guide on how encryption works, and how you can use it to keep your own data safe.

With that out of the way, here are your top five, in no particular order:

Five Best File Encryption Tools

Facebook Lets Messenger Conversations Go Dark

2016.07.26 06

Facebook last week said it would begin testing long anticipated end-to-end encryption capabilities in its Messenger app, enabling users to have secret conversations.

The new level of security means that a message will be visible only to the sender and the recipient — Facebook won’t even be able to read it.

Users can set a timer to limit the amount of time that a message remains visible during the conversation. Facebook has employed Open Whisper Systems’ Signal Protocol technology to provide the encryption.

One major caveat is that an end-to-end encrypted conversation can not be viewed on multiple mobile systems at the same time — however, the encryption is an optional feature.

Many users want to be able to switch devices during a conversation — for example, move from a mobile phone to a tablet or desktop computer. With the current technology, secret conversations can be read only on one device.

In addition, sending rich content like GIFs or video and making payments will not be possible using the encryption.

Facebook Lets Messenger Conversations Go Dark