It’s been said that if everyone is out to get you, then paranoia is a good attitude to have. Here’s another way to help reduce the paranoia over computer security. How many ways can you protect the files on your Mac? The ways vary from never plugging it in or turning it on, to encrypting the Mac’s hard disk with FileVault in Security & Privacy (in System Preferences), to many dozens of utilities which obscure, encrypt, or hide your valuable or incriminating files.
One Mac app that falls in the middle of the security morass is called Hider and it does a number of different things to specific files on a Mac to prevent them from being viewed by hackers, relatives, or law enforcement officials. As the name implies, Hider hides files, but it also encrypts files and then password protects the files.
Once running on your Mac getting to your encrypted files is easy. If you know the password.
No password, no files. Everything you want to hide is encrypted using AES-256 bit encryption, but you can control groups of files, entire folders of files, even notes you don’t want others to read.
Hider works with the Mac’s Finder and retains Finder Tags for easier search. Encrypting a file or folder is as easy as clicking on the Hidden button in Hider.
No worthwhile encryption utility would be useful if it wasn’t somewhat easy to use. Hider is. Use Hider by invoking the keyboard shortcuts, or click the Hider icon in the Mac’s Menubar for a list of recently used files in Hider.
Hider doesn’t pretend to be FileVault which encrypts everything on the Mac. Instead, it gives you granular controls over which files and folders need to be hidden. You control the passwords, too. No password? No file. It even works on files hidden on external disk drives.
Hider is elegantly Mac-like in how it works and it’s simple to setup and use. The only caveat I have is how Hider takes to unencrypted a vault of files and folders. It’s fine for a few dozen or few hundred files, but takes much longer the longer the list of files and folders.