Encrypt Dropbox Files

dropbox-logo Encrypt Dropbox FilesPrivacy is the one word on everyone's mind. It all began with the NSA leak, but it definitely doesn't end there. It's now more than obvious that any company based on U.S. soil is susceptible to government scrutiny, and that includes the possibility that the government may take a peek at your private files.

It's also obvious that cloud hosting companies and companies based in the cloud like Dropbox are not immune from spying – or hacks, for that matter.

While we like to think that the cloud is relatively secure, it never hurts to add an extra layer of protection to your Dropbox files. This protection comes in the form of encryption. Surprisingly, setting up Dropbox encryption isn't hard to do either.

Here's how to add extra padding to your Dropbox account.

Encrypt Dropbox Files: The TrueCrypt Option

TrueCrypt is a disk encryption software tool that is really your best line of defense when it comes to making extra sure that your files are safe. Why? TrueCrypt lets you encrypt your own files, so you aren't trusting them to another company. Here are the steps to creating a TrueCrypt folder for Dropbox.

  1. Install TrueCrypt.
  2. Launch the service.
  3. Chooose ‘Create Volume.'
  4. Select ‘Create An Encrypted File Container.'
  5. Choose ‘Standard TrueCrypt Volume.'

You will now be asked to choose a location for your TrueCrypt Volume. Choose Dropbox.

Follow the rest of the steps to set up your TrueCrypt account.Save your TrueCrypt Volume by entering a password. Now, you will have to mount the Volume.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select a drive letter.
  2. Choose your TrueCrypt file from the Dropbox folder.
  3. Select ‘Mount.'

From now on, you will be able to copy and paste documents to the TrueCrypt Volume as you would any other Dropbox document. There are other encryption options available, but TrueCrypt is one of the few that lets you encrypt your files without the help of an automated encryption program.

Encrypt Dropbox Files: Why Not Use Something Like SecretSync?

Technically, you can use SecretSync to encrypt Dropbox items (a Windows program). However, this means trusting Microsoft to encrypt your files for you. Yeah, that might be defeating the purpose, right? If the point of encrypting your files is to prevent a company from accessing those files openly, letting a company like Microsoft access your files at will is relatively silly.

But, if you must (and you really hate TrueCrypt for some reason), you can use SecretSync simply enough. Just install the SecretSync app, and put files you want to store in Dropbox in the SecretSync folder. Voila! Anything you put in that folder will be encrypted. Sure, it's simpler, but it's really not the best option – especially these days!

As mentioned, there are some other encryption tools out there, but TrueCrypt is the easiest one that I've come across thus far. It's user-friendly and works really well. If you are going to use Dropbox to store sensitive files, set up an extra layer of Dropbox protection.

Need help with these steps? Ask away!

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