I’ve heard it said that if everyone is out to get you, then paranoia is the right attitude to have. Are you paranoid about your Mac’s files?
Not just music, photos, and movies, but important family or business documents. Are those files secure? If someone steals your Mac notebook can they view the files? See? Paranoia is good. That’s why really important files need to be encrypted. Your Mac can do that.
Apple’s Encryption Solution
In typical Apple fashion, Mac users are given an option to secure virtually everything on your Mac through high grade encryption.
Without the proper password or keys, encrypted files are nearly impossible to crack.
Did you know your Mac comes with encryption capability built in, ready to use? It’s called FileVault and it’s tucked away, ready to use, in Apple’s standard all-or-nothing method.
All or nothing? FileVault has been around many years. Open System Preferences, click on the Security icon, click on FileVault. The settings are simple. Turn on FileVault. Set a master password.
From then on, Apple encrypts your Mac’s Home folder and everything inside. Not the Mac system files. Just your user files. Can you decide which files to encrypt? Nope. It’s an all or nothing method.
Is there a better way? Yes.
File Specific Encryption Solution
What many Mac users want and need is file specific encryption. Instead of encrypting the whole Home folder, Espionage is an elegant Mac app that encrypts whatever you want to encrypt.
Simply select what you want to encrypt. Espionage uses AES-128 or AES-256 bit encryption. Suffice it to say that cracking those encrypted files is so tough that James Bond couldn’t do it even if Abby Sciuto was on hand to help.
Espionage backs up and encrypts only what you choose and does so through a relatively simple interface.
Apple’s FileVault works seamlessly with your Mac’s Finder to automatically decrypt files on the fly. Espionage works the same way.
You can select which files to encrypt, what level of encryption to impose, and back up files with the assurance that no one will be digging around inside any time soon.
Espionage can encrypt email in addition to documents in your Mac’s Documents folder.
It even has an encryption-less protection level which requests a password for files that haven’t been encrypted. What kinds of files should be encrypted?
Generally, files with information that you don’t want to be made available to anyone else without your approval. In general, there’s no need to encrypt and back up music, photos, or movie clips (unless you’re a spy and the photos and movies were obtained as part of your job), but just those files that are extremely important.
Espionage is drop dead simple to use and adds an extra layer of flexibility and security on top of Apple’s built-in FileVault and Disk Utility options. What I would like to see is an option to encrypt and back up specific folders according to an automated schedule, but that’s minor compared to the advantage of encrypting only what you need, not what you don’t.