Encryption on the move

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by camlad, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. camlad macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2011
    Mac and Windows

    I need to carry a few encrypted Word and Excel files on an 8GB memory stick to be opened on other Macs and PCs which will not necessarily have decrypt software.

    So how can I generate self extracting encrypted files to be saved on a memory stick which can be opened on either platform?

    Being retired and working voluntarily it must be freeware/open source.
  2. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    Use Words and Excel

    Both of these programs have password systems and this would be the easiest method for you as anyone receiving the files would be able to open them.
  3. exabytes18, Jan 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011

    exabytes18 macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2006
    Suburb of Chicago
    As ssmed mentions, Office has built-in support for password-protecting files. This is probably the most convenient solution provided you use the latest editions of office (as the functionality is broken prior to 07/08 as far as I know).

    zip files also support encryption but I believe it's also broken.

    Fact of the matter is, most of these schemes are insecure and shouldn't be relied upon.

    Personally, when I need to share sensitive information, I typically do it via the web over SSL (technically TLS). One of the easier ways to do this would be to sign up for S3 from Amazon Web Services and host the files there. You can then access it in a variety of ways (download from their secure web console, create secure presigned urls to give out, or via some third party app). SSL is widely accepted as being secure. Of course, this approach costs a little money, but it also means you don't have to worry about the software on the end-user's computer (besides them having a browser and an internet connection). Of course, this means storing unencrypted data on AWS servers.

    I suggest S3 as I judge AWS to be a trustworthy entity. Plus they provide easy access to SSL transport without having to go through the hassle of setting it all up yourself.
  4. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005

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