[Contest] Folder Lock 7

Folder Lock by Newsoftwares is a must utility for those who want a simple yet effective way of securing their important information.

The biggest risk we face today is snooping. Either we can encrypt all our data or lock them in a vault to keep it away from prying eyes. To our aid we have Folder Lock, which is a one-stop-shop for all our file encryption and security needs.

Homepage:

http://www.newsoftwares.net/folderlock/

Following are the features available in Folder Lock

* Advanced (Military Grade) 256-bit AES Encryption

* Secure Online Backup of your Encrypted Files

* Choice of either Locking or Encryption of Files

* Protect your data in USB, External Drives and CD/DVD

* Real-time, On-the-Fly and Automatic Encryption & Decryption

* Lock, Hide and Password-Protect files, folders and drives

* Make Digital Wallets to protect your personal and private information

* Shred and Permanently Delete Files and Empty Hard Drive Space

* Clean Windows Usage History and Traces for Privacy Reasons

* Create Encrypted Email Attachments for sending Email Attachments

* Stealth Mode Option to hide the application while running in background

* Automatic Protection to protect all files after a certain time

* Enhanced Password Security and Administrative Password

* Hack Security to log and disable users trying too many incorrect passwords

* Virtual Keyboard to enter passwords to prevent possible key logging of passwords

* Password Strength Meter to indicate the strength of password you set

* Drag and drop functionality to protect files instantly

* Expandable Lockers, so no worry when dumping more files for encryption later

* Backup, Restore and Sync encrypted files online as well as among different PCs

* 100% Foolproof Encryption with defenses for Dictionary Attacks and Hacks

* Fast, Secure, Easy to Use and efficient in what it does

* Keep Encrypted Data on Servers and Share among Employees on a Network

* Supports Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2008 Server

 

As it can be seen from the above massive list, Folder Lock is the most comprehensive data security solution. It comes with seven tools, namely- Lock Files, Encrypt Files, Secure Backup, Protect USB/CD, Make Wallets, Shred Files and Clean History.

So let me take you through review of Folder Lock version 7.2.6.

The installation is straightforward and takes about a minute to complete. On the first start of the program, you are presented with a clean and impressive interface, wherein you are required to set a “Master Password”. While you enter the password, the program displays password’s strength as well. Also, you may choose to use the virtual keyboard (provided within the program) to set the master password, thereby preventing any key-loggers from capturing key presses from the keyboard.

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Post setting of “Master Password”, you are presented the following interface to get started with the Data-Lock process.

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As one can see from above, the interface is kept simple and clean. On the right side, it presents you the most sought options for locking & encryption– Lock, Encrypt, Secure Backup, Protect USB/CD, and Make Wallets. And the menus to Clean History and Shred Files are accessible from the top positioned “Xtras” menu. It’s a very cleaver approach by Newsoftwares on presenting the options.

From here, you can either simply drag and drop files and/or folders to the interface, or use the “ADD” button to add files, folders and drives to the locker for locking. Once locked, the files/folders are listed with Status as “Locked” in the interface, see below

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You may choose to remove file/folder while locked, add more file/folder to lock, or unlock one or all the files/folders, as required.

Moving on to the next most sought feature – Encrypt Files – for the first use, the interface presents an option to create a Locker. See below. Also, you may open an existing locker (using Open Locker menu), by browsing to it and providing the password. Folder Lock encrypts all your important data using Military Standard 256-bit AES on-the-fly encryption, providing the best available security measure to safeguard your data.

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For creating a new locker, the program provides step-by-step guidance on the screen. So, you can simply follow the on-screen instructions and create your first locker (to store valuables). Also, you can select options such as – Locker location, Locker Type (Backup-able Locker and Basic Locker), and Locker size. Post creation of locker, you are presented with the following screen.

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Once the locker is created, you can add files to it by either a simple drag/drop or even copy/paste. From the Locker List menu, you can Open, Edit, Copy/Move, and Delete your Locker as desired. Optionally, you can also add this Locker to the ‘Backup Online’ list.

 

Moving further we have “Secure Backup” menu. From here we can easily backup our encrypted data to an online storage. To ensure highest level of security, the backup and restore transmissions of the backup-data takes place using 128-bit SSL connection, leaving no option from getting intercepted at any point. Do note that you will require a “Secure Backup” account to be able to backup your data online. To start with, you can opt for Risk-free Trials, which of course require a Credit Card. Up to 2TB of secure online Backup space can be bought.

Moving further we have “Password protect USB/CD” menu. Protect USB/CD provides three powerful options to protect our portable data such as USB, CD/DVD, and Email Attachments.

Using Protect USB drive option you can either create a Portable Locker directly on your USB drive, or convert an existing Locker and turn it into a Portable Self Executable Locker. See below.

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Using Protect CD/DVD option you can convert your Lockers into self-executable applications and burn them to a CD/DVD drive. Once burned, you can simply access them on any system by entering the password. Do note that you do not require Folder Lock to be installed on the system where you want to access the lockers burned in a CD/DVD. It’s a true portable locker.

The Encrypt Email Attachments option allows you to create an encrypted ZIP file of your files. Once encrypted, you can email the ZIP file to recipients and provide them the unique passwords to unlock.

Moving further we have “Make Wallets” menu. Using ‘Make Wallets’, one can create secure and encrypted Wallets on their system to store personal and confidential information such as Credit Cards number, Bank Account details, Social Security Number, Passport details, Identity Cards and much other confidential personal information.

To make your first Wallet, you will need to head over to the ‘Make Wallets’ tab and click on Create Wallet button. This will open a window where you will need to enter the Wallet Name, Path and a password. Once you have finished entering the required details, your wallet is ready to use. Once inside the Wallet, you can choose to create different cards based on your need, such as – as Credit Card, Bank Account, Passport, Identity Card and others. You can create/store as many cards as you want. The entire Wallet is encrypted using Military Standard 256-bit AES on-the-fly encryption to protect your information.

Xtras Menu options

The Shred Files feature allows you to securely delete files, folders, and drives, thereby preventing recoverability of your data. The data once deleted is completely irrecoverable. Just select the file/folder and shred them using various shredding protocol such as Zeroes, Random Numbers, U.S Department of Defense standard and Peter Gutmann standard. Do note that by default Locked Files and Folders, Folder Lock Locker Files and Folder Lock Wallet Files are excluded from Shredding. You can change the default from Settings option.

The Clean History feature allows you to securely remove all recent activities from your system. You can opt to select from multiple Windows items where you might have may have left your footprint. Clean History option removes traces of recent computer activities such as Windows Temporary Files, Open/Save Directory, Clipboard Data, Media Player History, MS Paint History, WordPad History, Run History, Find & Search Computer History, Recent Documents History, and much more.

Pros:

1. A very simple to use software to protect your data.

2. Clean and easy to navigate interface.

3. Ensure highest level of security using 256-bit AES on-the-fly encryption and 128-bit SSL connection.

4. A neatly written Help File for beginners to use the program.

5. Auto-protection option to ensure locking up of the program after a certain period of inactivity.

6. Ability to make the lockers portable increases usability to a greater extent.

7. Complete stealth mode to go undetected even in Windows Safe-mode.

8. Availability of a password-strength meter to show you the strength of the password.

9. Availability of Virtual Keyboard to prevent any key-loggers from intercepting your key-strokes.

10. Real-time, On-the-Fly and Automatic Encryption & Decryption.

11. Ability to move the program to system tray.

 

Cons

1. The program fails to notify user in the case when there is insufficient space available in secure online Backup to backup locker(s). Instead the program allows to backup without any prompt for no/low space. See below

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2. There is no way once can resize any of the program interface, including but not limited to main interface, portable locker interface and others.

3. There is no option to encrypt the file name in the encrypted ZIP file, created using Encrypt Email Attachments option.

Conclusion

Folder Lock does its job of keeping your data safe. It is easy to use and uses trusted and widely used Advanced (Military Grade) 256-bit AES Encryption. The Real-time, On-the-Fly and Automatic Encryption & Decryption cause no delay in accessing your data, and all operations are pretty fast in nature, with almost no delay. Besides locker and encryption, Folder Lock’s Stealth Mode Option ensures that no one other than you would ever know about existence of a locker program.

The ability to Backup, Restore and Sync encrypted files online as well as among different systems, along with the Portability option, makes Folder Lock a complete solution for both Home as well as Business users to safeguard their important, personal, business and confidential information from the bad guys.Before I end my review, do check below a video on Folder Lock 7 (courtesy Newsoftwares).

Reviewer: Grr

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