The term ‘encryption’ has long stopped being reserved for security experts and IT geeks. With almost everyone now fully up-to-date with the internet, it’s up to the individual’s measure to protect vital information such as sensitive folders.
Encryption is one of the most reliable security measures with most of the utilities converting sensitive folders to encoded form, while others opting to load sensitive data into secure storage points in form of folders and drives before locking it, therefore encrypting the whole content. Moreover, other utilities prefer to lock away sensitive data in a cloud-based storage. In most cases, utilities focus on one of these three solutions. Today’s review candidate, Folder Lock, employs all three of these features at the same time, managing to strike a balance between delivering an easy-to-use interface and a host of functionalities.
Just like most of its competitors, the software version we tested gives access to its utilities at a one-off cost of $39.95. However, there is no need to buy the product instantly as it gives you the leeway of running it 25 times before it becomes mandatory to pay for the version. After purchasing the product, you receive free updates until the release of the next major update. Moreover, it’s not mandatory to pay for the next major update as you can continue on the current one. If you are worried about being compelled to pay for major updates since the newer version comes with security patches, take note that within 4 years, the software only did a major update once from version 7.6 to 7.7.
Before we dive deep into Folder Lock, some of you may be confused about the nature of encryption. Therefore, let’s start by clarifying term before moving forward.
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What is Encryption?
Encryption is a method of securing data through ciphering it. Although the term may sound technical, it’s not that complex when properly explained. When encrypting data, the utility used scrambles the information set to be secured into an unreadable format. This functionality makes it hard for the interceptor to understand the content in transit or storage. The process uses various symmetric algorithms such as AES and Blowfish. This type of encryption requires a password to unlock. Therefore, when using these utilities, your password should remain a dark secret and you must ensure that when sharing it, you do so via secure channels.
How to Use Folder Lock
Back to the elephant in the room, the Folder Lock installation process is straightforward and fast. It doesn’t need much human interference. Upon completing your payment for the product, you will obtain a registration key accompanied by serial digits. The serial digits are important and must be kept safe. If you are to forget your password, you will need the serial number to gain access to your vault. If the previous statement raises some concerns to you, well done, you are truly woke when it comes to security measures.
Most of the leading encryption software tools that we have reviewed or come across do not provide any sort of backdoor. Without a backdoor, it means data protection is sealed and there is no way anyone, including the authorities, can gain access. However, this is different with Folder Lock. The use of a serial number to unlock the vault without a password is quite disturbing. This means the Folder Lock company has the key to decrypting your sensitive data. As a result, the company can be subpoenaed to hand over your files to the law. Even though you can disable the feature, its still something that creates cracks within the security system, knowing that there is a back door simply painted over, which can still be accessed.
Folder Lock uses a master password, which allows users to login into the vault and be able to encrypt as well as decrypt their sensitive files. Your master password should be strong and memorable but a hard to crack work of security art. This makes it difficult even for someone who might know you well to guess it.
The Auto Protection comes disabled by default. However, if enabled, it logs off the user when the program is left idle for 10 minutes. Moreover, the timeline can be changed to your preference for up to 100 minutes. And, you can set the program not to only shut itself but the entire system if left idle for the set timeline.
More protection measures come attached to the tool such as the Hack Security feature. If enabled, it will shut down the program after a certain number of failed login attempts. However, not to shoot yourself on the foot, if your fingers fumble a lot, you can increase the number of attempts allowed.You can also configure the program not only to shut itself but also the entire system when the number of attempts has been reached.
Does a locked file or folder suggest it has been encrypted? Most people think that it’s the same, but we can’t blame them as most of these utilities don’t take time to explain the difference. In actuality, a locked file is not encrypted in any way. Therefore, what Folder Lock does to your sensitive files is that it hides them from system programs via the kernel-level filtering technique. The functionality is similar to the ones used by a rootkit to hide components from the system, only that Folder Lock is for the white hat hider. This means files that have been locked are secured from malicious spyware.
The process of locking a file or folder using Folder Lock is pretty easy. All you need to do is drag and drop the file on Folder Lock. This will transfer the visibility of your file or folder from Windows to Folder Lock, making it impossible for one to view the file or folder without logging into Folder Lock. Although it is impossible to lock the Windows driver, you can lock other drive letters, folders, and files via the program’s menu.
Folder Lock Pros and Cons
- Keep files invisible from the Windows system, making it hard for hackers to access sensitive data even after breaching Windows security
- Offers file shredding features
- Comes with a reliable online backup feature
- Can override master password using the serial number
- The utility does not encrypt but locks files or folders
- Users must pay for a secure cloud-based backup
Folder Lock Review
Folder Lock offers a full-house feature list to play around with in an attempt to get the most out of the product. It comes loaded with all sorts of cool as well as useful tools that can help you maintain your sensitive data secure. However, some major concerns make it difficult to turn a blind eye. For instance, the ability to override the master password using a serial number means you don’t have sole control to your sensitive information. If the software provider’s database is hacked, it means your information might be in jeopardy. That is a major turnoff even though the program comes with impressive features such as:
- Shredding files
- Cloud-based secure backup
- Protection on USB and Email
- History cleaner
Although the program comes with some major concerns, it still manages to present a well-balanced platform that serves its purpose to its full capabilities. Sadly, nowadays it’s all about encryption, if you want to achieve high-end security. With Folder Lock lacking the measure, it makes it hard for some of us to put it on the forefront. However, if you don’t mind about the encryption of files or folders and only care about your files being hidden from your system, then Folder Lock is a worthy consideration. Ultimately, the fundamental to keeping your files secure is the application of multiple layers of protection. So, you mustn’t ignore the importance of keeping a trusted anti-malware tool running on the background scanning and fighting intruders.