There was a time when encryption tools were used only by the secret service agencies of the various governments, big tech companies or by the larger organizations to protect their industrial information. But starting in the 90s, the encryption tools became readily available for the common people. Anybody who had a PC could use tools to encrypt their private files. As time passed, these tools have become only more sophisticated. Now file encryption or hashing is included in so many programs designed for Windows PC. For example, even the archiving apps like 7-Zip and PeaZip come with strong encryption tools.
With the help of the open-source PeaZip, you can encrypt your files or folders easily in a matter of seconds. Here is how it is done:
- First of all you have to download and install PeaZip from https://peazip.github.io/.
- Once you have installed PeaZip, you can right-click on any file, a group of files or a folder that you want to encrypt. You have to select PeaZip and then Encrypt from the right-click menu.
- You will be asked for the password which is used to encrypt the files. As you type the password the lower edge color of the window changes from red, blue and green indicating the strength of the password. You can choose various options like encryption of the filenames. Click on the OK button to start the encryption. Alternatively, you can also supply a key file to encryption.
- The encrypted files are packed into a 7Z file which can be opened using PeaZip or 7-Zip. When you double-click on this 7Z file, it opens in the installed archiving utility like PeaZip but in order to view or extract the files, you have to enter the same password as the one you used to encrypt them. In case of the keyfile, you must use the same keyfile for decryption.
PeaZip using the 7Z standard for encrypting files and uses the strong AES 256-bit cipher. This ensures that the encrypted files cannot be decrypted without supplying the correct password or keyfile.