Time and time again, the story of a hacker stealing someone’s private pictures or videos is published in newspapers. The recent case is that of Sofia Vergara whose intimate pictures were hacked only a month ago and then were put on sale. Usually, the target of such a hacker is a celebrity as they expect to blackmail them and make money through extortion or sale of pictures/videos. But these hackers can victimize just about anyone. You do not have panic. There is a simple solution to this problem – encrypt your private files with strong encryption so that even if a hacker lays his hands on the files, they would be useless for him. AxCrypt is a free encryption utility that can be used for this purpose.
Avantum AxCrypt is a free open-source file encryption utility for Windows. It integrates seamlessly with Windows to compress, encrypt, decrypt, store, send and work with individual files. It features powerful AES-128 bit encryption cipher. it is practically impossible to decrypt the AES encrypted files without supplying the password.
AxCrypt can be installed in Windows but there is a portable edition also available. When you install it on your system, it would add a shell extension in Windows context menu. This shell extension makes it very easy to encrypt or decrypt files. To encrypt a file or a set of files, just right-click on them and select AxCrypt » Encrypt from the menu.
AxCrypt would ask you to supply a passphrase which is used to password protect your files. You can also use a keyfile which makes the encryption even stronger (AxCrypt can generate keyfiles from any file you choose). You have to supply the same passphrase and keyfile again when decrypting the files – so keep them secure and safe. Encrypted files are appended an extra AXX extension and their icon changes to the AxCrypt icon so that you can easily identify them.
Decrypting the files is very easy too. If you want to view an encrypted file’s contents without permanently decrypting it, then just double-click on it, supply the passphrase and it would be opened in an associated program. When you close the program, the temporary decrypted file would be securely deleted. To decrypt an encrypted file permanently, right-click on it and select AxCrypt » Decrypt from the menu and supply the passphrase.
AxCrypt can also create an encrypted EXE file which is a useful feature if you have to send encrypted files to someone who does not have AxCrypt installed on their PC. Additionally, it included a shredder application helping you securely erase files and making them completely irrecoverable. AxCrypt is a fast, simple, effective and free encryption tool that helps you keep the peeping toms on the internet in check. It is an ideal choice to encrypt your private files and folders.