Encrypted files on Dropbox with BoxCryptor

crittographyOne of the main questions on the part of users, the use of cloud-based solutions is definitely the secrecy and confidentiality of the data that are stored in the storage cloud, many fear that their data (documents, photos, code, etc..) Can first eventually be violated, and in some cases compromised, thus losing days and days of work.

Dropbox is a cloud based software platform that can be used as a file hosting service, with automatic synchronization of files, taking advantage of the web platform, while basing its operations on the SSL protocol, the level of security of our data can be further raised going for example, to encrypt the data stored in the cloud, in this paper we present a useful tool which aims to encrypt our data, making their contents accessible only to authorized persons, the tool in question is BoxCryptor.

BoxCryptor software is distributed in three different versions, free, unlimited and unlimited personal business. The free version can be used to encrypt directory is not larger than 2 GB, and can be worked on a single computer, the encryption algorithm used to encrypt the data is AES-256, in the free version the name of the file will not be encrypted, but will remain in the clear. The unlimited versions are two, one personal the cost of 9.99 euro, and a business that costs € 29.99, both versions can encrypt directories of any size, and also manage a single user for a total of 4 installations, of course is mandatory to use the business version in all cases where there are commercial interests to pursue. The three versions are all cross-platform, that can be installed either on windows platform, both Mac and Linux (compatible), you also can be set up on a mobile platform such as iOS and Android.

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You can download all three versions, and the different distributions within the download on the official site BoxCryptor, selecting the platform on which we are going to have to install the tool.

BoxCryptor Installation on Windows and Linux

 

The installation of the tool in a Microsoft Windows environment is traditional, after completion of the installation will need to restart your system, the tool is fully compatible with all versions of the client operating system from Microsoft XP to Windows 7, and with Server versions.
 
As for the Linux operating system, unfortunately BoxCryptor has not yet made ​​available a standalone application for Linux, but the encryption used by BoxCryptor is fully compatible with the open-source project encfs (a file system based on FUSE enough).
 
boxcriptor 1
 
When installation is completed in the main menu of Windows will see a new entry "BoxCryptor", which when selected will allow us to configure the tool. You will have to choose whether to operate, to create a new folder BoxCryptor on our computer, or use one that already exists, select the first option, or create a new folder, you must specify the location of the local folder and the name of the same, by inserting the first information in the fields highlighted in blue in figure 2, and going to enter the folder name in the field highlighted in red in Figure 2, suppose we want to create in our case a folder called "personal documents encrypted," of course included all information will continue by clicking the Next button.
 
If you want to keep aligned with our local folder, and our dropbox space, automatically, you must create the folder used by BoxCryptor folder used by Dropbox to sync files.
 
boc criptor 2
 
BoxCryptor needs to create a "virtual drive" that will be mapped within the resources of the computer, you must associate a virtual drive letter to our liking, in our example we have chosen to associate the letter Z: to the virtual drive , as shown in Figure 3.
 
 
Once again confirm the information entered by clicking on the Next button at this point we have to choose a password at least six characters, from having to use to access our files, is crucial to create a very strong password, and that it is not forgotten , in fact you can not in any way the recovery of the same, for that very reason all the encrypted data can not be encrypted without knowledge of the password used, of course, the same password should not be too easy to avoid disappointment on our work, so we try to avoid using birth dates, names, etc..
 
 
Completed the configuration process we can make a backup of configuration BoxCryptor, it corresponds to a simple XML file, which must be stored and used in cases of necessity. From this point on in My Computer you will see a new drive, in which we will place all files to be encrypted and uploaded in our space in a Dropbox encrypted.
 
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Change the settings of BoxCryptor

The configuration settings can be changed at any time, using the notification icon BoxCryptor (picture 5), marked with a padlock, you will have the opportunity to change the password or delete it, not only that, we can change the folder used for keep our encrypted files.

boxcriptor 5

 

 

We use BoxCryptor

That the phase of installation and configuration, we can begin to use BoxCryptor. Simply save or move a file in the virtual drive (previously created) and automatically, if the folder has been mapped in Dropbox, the file will be encrypted and sent to our space cloud. Suppose we create a simple text file using Microsoft Word, within this file will insert the string "this is the plaintext file" as shown in Figure 6.
 
boxcriptor 6
 
At this point, as mentioned earlier, you have two options: the first is to save the newly created file in the virtual drive Z: configured during installation of the tool, the second is to save it to any directory on your computer, and then move or copy it to the virtual drive, regardless of which mode you choose the end result will be to see the encrypted file uploaded in our space Dropbox. In the free version, the subject of this article, the name of the file will be uploaded to Dropbox in plain text (only the file name), or in the paid versions, including the file name extension must be encrypted, thus making any attempt to reverse "impossible" by opening the file we will see something similar to figure 7, a set of strings that is incomprehensible.
 
boxcriptor 7
 

Sharing encrypted files

In many cases you use Dropbox to share files between two or more computers, such as the one at home and the office, it is therefore necessary that the tool is able to manage this situation, in this case when we are going to install the tool on the second computer , you must specify the same Dropbox folder, and enter the same password of course used on the first computer, this will give us our data synchronized and encrypted on both machines.

For lovers of the command line

Article for all who love the command line, or have the need to write a script auto run, you can also use the component from the command line by typing in Windows run the string "boxcryptor.exe / commandLine" commands related to command line can be explored in chapter 5 of the manual BoxCryptor.
 
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