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How To Encrypt Your Cloud-Based Drive with Boxcryptor

By on December 20, 2011

Do you frequently use cloud storage services such as Dropbox for storing your files online? If yes, then have you ever questioned yourself as to how safe your files are on these storage systems? You need to realize that although you might be storing your files on such a system for different purposes such as sharing and backup, they are actually not too far away from the reach of hackers.

Remember, any stuff online is always prone to illicit access or unauthorized exposure if you do not secure it. So, here’s the most vital question: Is there a way to secure your Dropbox files? The most relieving answer to it is, ‘Yes’! Therefore, you will now learn how to secure your files on a cloud storage system via encryption.

Encrypt Your Cloud-Based Drive with Boxcryptor

Why to Encrypt Despite of Powerful Security Schemes by Cloud Services

Although Dropbox does employ powerful encryption methods, the hidden flaw in them shocked its users some time ago when it temporarily allowed anybody to access a Dropbox account, thus, bypassing the security scheme. So, it was this incidence that made the Dropbox users proactive to encrypt their own files, thus, providing double encryption (one of the cloud service and other of the user) for ensuring an impassable security scheme.

Apart from that, there are users who do use an encrypted Dropbox volume such as TrueCrypt. However, sadly, relying on such a volume somewhat beats the concept of using a remote cloud drive that updates and stores your files incessantly. For example, if you are using a big encryption volume, know that the cloud service will upload it only if you unmount the volume. Further, if you are working on the volume, you might lose the continual backup advantage. So, what’s the solution?

Why not Try BoxCryptor

The solution is to encrypt Dropbox files without losing the advantage of continual backups. Fortunately, this is where BoxCryptor can show its unbelievable magic via its simple setup. This Windows-based program facilitates AES-256 bit encryption for each Dropbox file. The beauty of this program is that it works well with the Encrypted File System because of which you can view your encrypted files even on the Linux as well as Mac OS systems.

How to Install BoxCryptor

There are three versions of BoxCryptor, each of which varying in terms of the file size to be encrypted. You can try the free version that can encrypt a directory whose size is not more than 2GB. For more directory limit, you can choose from either of the two versions that are paid.

boxcryptor

To install this program, you will have to download it from www.boxcryptor.com/download.php. In this article, it is assumed that you will be interested in using the free version. After the download, run its setup and follow the instructions. This program will detect your installed Dropbox app automatically and will also prompt you to put the BoxCryptor directory directly in the folder of Dropbox folder for which you will have to click Yes.

You will also see a prompt that asks for the source directory for storing the encrypting data apart from the drive letter of BoxCryptor. Here, kindly ensure that BoxCryptor is placed accurately in your Dropbox folder.

boxcryptor source directory

Further, select a drive letter so that BoxCryptor is able to mount a drive. In addition, you also get the Advanced Mode check box that is for using the program’s file versioning feature. This is useful if you want to maintain the file versioning system in Dropbox that is broken while encrypting filenames. In this case, select the Advanced Mode check box and turn off encryption by file name.

As the last step, you will have to provide a password to your volume of BoxCryptor. Now that you are done with the installation, you will be able to view the BoxCryptor folder in your Dropbox folder along with the virtual drive in the catalog of drives.

boxcryptor password

How to Use BoxCryptor

Just put the files on the virtual drive of Boxcryptor instead of doing so in its folder and start working with them within the drive just like you normally work in any other computer drive. While you work, the files get encrypted and decrypted on the go, which is indicated by a green check mark preceding each file name. Lastly, the changes made to the files are seen shortly in your Dropbox account.

boxcryptor green check mark

Rules to Remember: Do not place files into the BoxCryptor folder directly, as this will impede encryption. Further, never delete the encfs6.xml file that resides in the BoxCryptor folder, as this is the hub of vital information for decrypting files.

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