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Miscellaneous Software

Open Source Freeware to Encrypt Files

SUMMARY: AxCrypt integrates with Windows Explorer, allowing you to encrypt and decrypt files that need to remain private.

If you need to distribute files with private information to areas where those not intended to view their contents might also have access, consider AxCrypt. AxCrypt is an open source application that allows you to encrypt individual files on a Windows machine with 128-bit key encryption.

Files can be encrypted via right-clicking in Explorer, choosing "AxCrypt", then choosing to "Encrypt", "Encrypt a copy", or "Encrypt copy to EXE'. Passwords or keyfiles are supported for encryption, and if your computer is secure, you can choose to remember passwords so encrypted files are automatically decrypted when on your machine. Or, decrypting a file is as simple as double-clicking the newly encrypted file icon and entering decryption credentials.

Encrypting a file with AxCrypt

Other features include support for multiple languages such as French, Italian, and Spanish; renaming encrypted files for further privacy; an integrated file shredder; and batch file support.

AxCrypt runs on Windows XP and above, though a download supporting older versions of Windows is available. 32 and 64-bit versions are available for download, as well as a portable version that is function limited. More information and download links can be available at the following site:

* AxCrypt

This tip was written regarding AxCrypt v1.7.2126.0 running on a Windows XP system. Features, information, and screenshots for other versions /operating systems may vary.

Even when using this software, security and privacy are not guaranteed, especially if weak passphrases are used. You may wish to create backups of encrypted files, stored in secure locations, in case you are unable to perform decryption.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.