Encrypting your files or folders becomes necessary if you want to hide some of your secret documents from the eyes of strangers. If you have your files encrypted and some hackers break into your computer, even then they will not be able to get any information because its all encrypted. The free Challenger program can help you encrypt files and folders easily. It has a drag-n-drop interface that makes encrypting files a piece of cake.
You can download Challenger from the Encryption Software website. The website interface is both in German and English. The program is available in form of a setup installer that can install Challenger on your system. It is also available as a portable program but only for the U3 USB disks that nobody uses anymore. After the installation, you can run the program from its desktop shortcut. It would ask you for the activation pass phrase B which is “Berlin” by default. These phrases are used for encryption and decryption of files. If you encrypted a file using a phrase, then the same phrase is required for the decryption. You can add more phrases or change this pass phrase B later.
When the main Challenger window is open, you are ready to perform encryption but it is a wise idea to add a new phrase first. You can continue to use Challenger with the default phrase “Berlin”, but this phrase is known by everyone and thus just about anyone would be able to decrypt your files. If you want to add, remove or modify pass phrases, then click on Phrase Management button to open the phrase management window.
Here you would find a list of phrases A to H on the left side. The “occupied” phrases are in use while the “free” phrases can be set by you. To create a new phrase, select a “free” channel, click on the New button and then enter the phrase. A phrase can be between 6 to 64 characters in length. If you want to delete a occupied phrase, select it and click on the Delete button. Deleting a phrase will free the channel it was occupying. As is obvious, you cannot delete an activated phrase.
After adding a new phrase, you have to activate it before you can use it. If you are running Challenger with the only one pass phrase “Berlin”, then things are much easier. But when you add more than one pass phrase, then you have to be careful to activate the correct pass phrase before encryption or decryption of files. In order to activate a pass phrase, click on the Activate phrase button, type in the phrase and click OK button.
If you want to encrypt a file then click on the Encrypt/decrypt file button and select a file. If you want to encrypt an entire folder, then click on the Folder or Drive button and choose a folder. However, you can also drag-n-drop files/folders onto the Challenger window.
Once you have made the selection of files/folders to be encrypted, a new window opens up that would show you the progress for encryption. It would display the encryption phrase being used, size and the number of the files. Do not forget this phrase after you have encrypted files, because it is required for decryption of files. To proceed, click on the Encrypt button. A progress for encryption of files shall be displayed. All the encrypted files are appended the .CHA extension.
Decryption of files/folders is similar to the encryption process. Make sure you are running Challenger using the correct pass phrase. Then just drag-n-drop the encrypted CHA files on the Challenger window and it would show a window where you have to click on the Decrypt button.
In the options for Challenger (accessible from the menubar), you can choose the security strength for deleting the original files after they are encrypted. You can integrate Challenger with Windows by creating a shortcut link on the desktop and in the Send To context-menu. There is also an option to silently encrypt/decrypt files without showing the progress window.
Challenger is an excellent encryption software for all your requirements. The free version uses 128-bit encryption (possibly with RSA cipher, although it is nowhere mentioned). The author also offers a paid version of the software that can perform higher strength encryption of files and folders.
You can download Challenger from http://www.encryption-software.de/.