Password protect a folder?

jjmaximum

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 8, 2004
94
0
Gainesville, FL
Is there an app (or a way already in 10.3) that would allow me to password-protect a folder so nobody else could view the contents or open any of the files in the folder? TIA
 

haiggy

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2003
1,319
68
Ontario, Canada
I think I still have the program.. hold on I'll check:

Aha!

It's a program called "LameSecure".. just search it in google or on version tracker and I'm sure it'll come up. I believe it makes a copy of the folder or something.. don't hold me to that I haven't used it in forever. Give it a try and let me know how it works. ;)
 

Flynnstone

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2003
1,423
74
Cold beer land
You can do something close.
Using disk utility, you can create a disk image.
It asks if you want to encrypt.
The limitation is that you need to specify the disk/image size.
Is that what you were looking for?
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
Flynnstone said:
You can do something close.
Using disk utility, you can create a disk image.
It asks if you want to encrypt.
The limitation is that you need to specify the disk/image size.
Is that what you were looking for?
Agreed! This is the best way to protect your, er, sensitive files. ;)

To be specific:

  • Open Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility.
  • Click the "New Image" icon in the toolbar (or use Images->New...->Blank Image)
  • Fill in "Save as:" field with a name.
  • Select an appropriate size
  • Set the excryption to AES-128
  • Keep the format as "read/write disk image"
  • Click "Create"
  • You'll be prompted for a password - enter one
  • Very important: Unselect "Remember password (add to Keychain)" before clicking OK to set the password.

This creates the password-protected .dmg file. Double-click it to open it (supply the password, and don't opt to store it in your keychain, or else anyone in your account can open it). It then looks like a mounted disk image - drag things into/out of it. Eject it to return it to it's password-protected state.
 

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
Flynnstone said:
You can do something close.
Using disk utility, you can create a disk image.
It asks if you want to encrypt.
The limitation is that you need to specify the disk/image size.
Is that what you were looking for?
I second this suggestion. This method uses 128 bit encryption for the entire contents of the disk image, just like FileVault, except much more flexible.
You can make it almost any size you want, which I guess is somewhat of a limitation if you don't have any idea how much space the contents will eventually hold.

Just remember to leave the checkbox "remember this password" unchecked.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
I use the disk image method for my secure stuff. It's empty..... but its a secure set of "000"s on my hard drive.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
jjmaximum said:
Is there an app (or a way already in 10.3) that would allow me to password-protect a folder so nobody else could view the contents or open any of the files in the folder? TIA
You are using a Unix-based computer. Why don't you its basic features? You can set the permissions of your folder in question to allow only your account to read the folder's contents. For an extra measure, you can also set the permissions of each file in the folder to allow access only to your account. Then, don't allow automatic login and keep your password only to yourself.
 

jjmaximum

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 8, 2004
94
0
Gainesville, FL
JSW

jsw said:
Agreed! This is the best way to protect your, er, sensitive files. ;)

To be specific:

  • Open Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility.
  • Click the "New Image" icon in the toolbar (or use Images->New...->Blank Image)
  • Fill in "Save as:" field with a name.
  • Select an appropriate size
  • Set the excryption to AES-128
  • Keep the format as "read/write disk image"
  • Click "Create"
  • You'll be prompted for a password - enter one
  • Very important: Unselect "Remember password (add to Keychain)" before clicking OK to set the password.

This creates the password-protected .dmg file. Double-click it to open it (supply the password, and don't opt to store it in your keychain, or else anyone in your account can open it). It then looks like a mounted disk image - drag things into/out of it. Eject it to return it to it's password-protected state.
JSW,

Tried exactly what you said and I got a 'Device Busy' error message. Any idea what I am doing wrong?
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
MisterMe said:
You are using a Unix-based computer. Why don't you its basic features? You can set the permissions of your folder in question to allow only your account to read the folder's contents. For an extra measure, you can also set the permissions of each file in the folder to allow access only to your account. Then, don't allow automatic login and keep your password only to yourself.
The problem with this would be if you log into your computer, and step away for a period of time, anyone could see those files unless you log out everytime you leave your computer.

Sure, it's being a little paranoid, but the disk image thing is superb. And secure.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
jjmaximum said:
JSW,

Tried exactly what you said and I got a 'Device Busy' error message. Any idea what I am doing wrong?
jjmaximum - did BV's suggestion help? My guess is that you had a read-only disk (CD, DVD) selected when you did the new image thing - maybe. Does clicking on your hard disk icon, then doing the steps above help? I'm not at my Mac, so I can't provide direct help now. I'm not sure why you'd get the "Device Busy" message without being able to diagnose it at home.
 

jjmaximum

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 8, 2004
94
0
Gainesville, FL
jsw said:
jjmaximum - did BV's suggestion help? My guess is that you had a read-only disk (CD, DVD) selected when you did the new image thing - maybe. Does clicking on your hard disk icon, then doing the steps above help? I'm not at my Mac, so I can't provide direct help now. I'm not sure why you'd get the "Device Busy" message without being able to diagnose it at home.
Yes, it worked from the Image menu instead of the icon. Many thanks guys...BTW, it is mainly for sensitive work-related documents, though a may put a few pictures in there too ;)
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
emw said:
The problem with this would be if you log into your computer, and step away for a period of time, anyone could see those files unless you log out everytime you leave your computer.

Sure, it's being a little paranoid, but the disk image thing is superb. And secure.
No security system is going to give you very much protection against the kind of sloppiness that you described. Disk images move the problem, but they don't solve the problem. You mount your disk image and walk away for a period of time. How is this any different?
 

idkew

macrumors 68020
I use a shareware program called Crypt2 to encrypt files and folders. It uses 448bit blowfish cypher to encrypt, which would prolly take the virgina tech supercomputer years to crack. It is free for file encryption (i.e. Stuff that folder, then encrypt) or $5 per computer (based off a MAC address?) for file/folder compression/encryption.

Crypt2 securly erases all data used after encrypt/decrypt (except for the file/folder you decrypted, obviously. once you are done with it, you use the Secure Delete command to erase from your hard disk.)

Crypt2

About the Blowfish Cypher
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
MisterMe said:
No security system is going to give you very much protection against the kind of sloppiness that you described. Disk images move the problem, but they don't solve the problem. You mount your disk image and walk away for a period of time. How is this any different?
True. But in the first case, every time you are logged onto your computer someone has complete access to everything on that system, including your sensitive files.

With the disk image method, you would have to mount it before anyone could get to it. There is still exposure, but it's not as significant, since you have more control over the mounting. But in the end, you still have to have some control.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.