Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync, Box, iCloud and dozens of other online storage providers all make sharing content online for access from multiple devices fast and convenient. How sweet it is to take a picture or create a document on your phone or tablet and have it automatically uploaded to "the cloud". You no longer have to worry about the data being lost if something happens to your mobile device, right?
It's great until your mobile device falls into the wrong hands, somebody hacks into your online account, or the online storage provider suffers a privacy breach. Depending on the data you stored online, that sweet solution could leave a sour aftertaste. One solution is to encrypt the data before it is stored online using EncFS, a tool that encrypts an entire folder structure, but file by file, as opposed to a single container like TrueCrypt. Because it stores data encrypted and decrypts only when mounted using a password, the data residing on mobile devices and in the cloud is securely encrypted if lost or compromised.
EncFS is a mature, decade old solution with broad platform support, including Linux, Windows, Macintosh, iPhone/iPad, Android, and a variety of online storage platforms. Apps that make use simple include:
- BoxCryptor - Windows, Windows RT, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS, Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box.net
- Cryptonite - Android
- Cryptkeeper - Linux
- MacFUSE - OS X
- OSXFUSE - OS X
- BoxProtect - iPhone, Macintosh, and Dropbox
- encfs4win - Windows, Dropbox
- Cloudfogger - Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive
- Grive - Google Drive, Linux, Android
- EncFS - good Windows and Linux tutorial