Folder Lock

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Note: This review covers v6.25 of the software.

Folder Lock keeps your data safe from prying eyes. This utility lets you create lockers on your PC where you can store the files and folders you'd like to safeguard--and you can choose which level of security to use.

You create a folder by choosing its location (anywhere on your PC) and giving it a name. You can then drag and drop the files and folders you'd like to add, and can choose whether to encrypt the data with 256-bit AES encryption, or to simply lock the information by password-protecting it. Encrypting the data takes a little longer (it took about three minutes to encrypt a 10GB folder on my PC), but doing so is obviously more secure than just using a password.

You can transfer your lockers to USB drives or optical discs, and can opt to have Folder Lock securely delete the original data once you've moved the files to a locker. Once your lockers are created they cannot be deleted without entering your password.

Folder Lock includes some additional security features, including the ability to remove your recent document history and clear your clipboard, and you can opt to have it lock down or shut down your PC after a certain number of failed login attempts. You can also run the program in stealth mode so that other users won't be able to see your lockers.

The interface is slick: It looks like an actual locked vault, and you'll see the handle spinning as your locker opens to reveal your data. But it's a bit too cute for my taste, especially when the design makes some of the features--like the advanced settings--difficult to access.

I wasn't able to hammer away at the Folder Lock's encryption to see if it will stand up to a real hacker. But if you're simply looking to keep your private data private, this is an easy way to do so.

Note: The trial version is good for 35 uses, and restricts the size of your encrypted lockers to 25MB.

--Liane Cassavoy

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