If you are using popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Copy.com. Box.com, Amazon Cloud Drive etc. for storing your files, then you may definitely want to encrypt some of your important files before uploading them to the cloud.

Almost all cloud storage service providers promises not to access your data, unless legally required to do so, but if you are still concerned about the privacy of your data, then you should encrypt all your important files before storing them in the cloud. Encryption will also prevent third party applications (which uses API access from Dropbox, Google Drive etc.) from accessing your account data.

For encrypting sensitive data you can use Cloudfogger on your Windows and Mac based computers. The software uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), which can encrypt all your files to one of the highest possible encryption standard.

Cloudfogger is completely free for non-commercial use and let’s check out in this post how to encrypt all your files before uploading them to the cloud?

VERY Important Note: Try not to jump and encrypt EVERYTHING present in your cloud storage provider’s default sync folder. If you have shared your files with other people, then encryption will make all those files completely inaccessible! Others won’t be able to open them, unless they install Cloudfogger on their computer/mobile device and uses YOUR Cloudfogger Account Username and Password for decryption.

Follow below mentioned steps very carefully and you will be able to encrypt all your important files present in a folder of your choice in a matter of few clicks:

  1. Download Cloudfogger and install the application on your computer. Once the application has been successfully installed, run it and the application will ask you to create a Cloudfogger Account.Create an account using your Email Address (as Username) and Password – Try not to forget this password, as otherwise you may face many problems in decrypting your files later. You may want to jot down your password on a piece of paper and keep the password somewhere safe.Once your account has been successfully created, enter your login credentials within the application by clicking on its icon displayed in the system tray:

    cloudfogger system tray

    We are now ready to encrypt all your important files using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Technology.

    Note: Before proceeding any further with this guide, make sure you QUIT all cloud storage sync applications that are running on your computer. All you need to do is to RIGHT click on the application icon of your cloud storage provider in your system tray and select EXIT.

  2. Suppose you are using Copy.com as your preferred cloud storage sync and backup service. Open the Default Copy Folder Location on your Hard Drive and within it, create a new folder say Private. Now drag and drop some files in this folder (you can also create sub-folders and place some files inside them) and right click on the name of the folder, go to Cloudfogger and select Fogg File(s):

    fogg files

    The application will instantly start encrypting all the files present within PRIVATE folder and all its sub-folders and you will be able to see the encryption status on your screen:

    encryption in progress

    Keep in mind that the complete encryption process may take some time depending on the size of folder you are encrypting and hardware performance of your computer.

    Once the PRIVATE folder is fully encrypted, if you further Drag and Drop/Copy and Paste more files and folders within this folder, they all will be automatically encrypted, provided that Cloudfogger application is running in your system tray and you are signed in to your Account.

  3. The icon of Encrypted PRIVATE Folder and all its content will also change and will look something like following icons (when Cloudfogger application is running):

    decrypted file and sub folder

    And when the application is not running, the icon of the folder and all its files will look something like following icons:

    encrypted file and sub folder

  4. It’s all done! You can now run the sync application of your cloud storage service provider and all your encrypted files will be uploaded to the cloud. The uploading process will take some time depending on the size of all encrypted files and your internet connection’s speed.

How to Decrypt Files and Folders?

Once you have successfully encrypted files using Cloudfogger, we are now going to see how to decrypt files:

For temporarily viewing the Contents of any file without decrypting it:

If you only want to view the contents of any file like a PDF Document, a Word document (.doc/.docx) etc. without fully decrypting it, then make sure Cloudfogger application is running in your system tray and you are signed in. Now double click on any file and it will open normally.

This means that when the application is running on your computer, it will temporarily decrypt any file automatically for your viewing purpose. However the original file will remain encrypted.

Decrypting Files and folders Completely

Every Cloudfogger encrypted file will have a .cfog extension in it after the original file type extension. E.g. Notepad.txt.cfog. For decrypting a particular file or an entire folder, just right click on it, go to Cloudfogger and click on Defogg file(s):

defogg file

The file or folder will start decrypting and you will be able to see decryption status on your screen:

decrypt in progress

The next time you run the sync application of your cloud storage provider on your computer, the decrypted files/folders will be uploaded to the cloud and their encrypted version, with .cfog extension, will get deleted from the cloud servers.

Important notes:

    • The application can’t decrypt files that are encrypted by some other application. It can decrypt only those files which have a .cfog extension.
    • You can also use Cloudfogger offline without creating an account with the service by storing its key on your own computer, instead of their server. All Cloudfogger keys can be found at this location on your computer: [User Folder]\AppData\Roaming\Cloudfogger\Keys. If you are using Cloudfogger in offline mode, then make sure you backup your key and store it in a safe place, as otherwise you won’t be able to decrypt your data.
    • If you want to decrypt files with .cfog extension on your Android and iOS powered mobile devices, then download and install Cloudfogger from Play Store/App Store. Keep in mind that this application can only decrypt data that has already been encrypted using Cloudfogger’s desktop application. It can’t encrypt unencrypted data that is present on your mobile device.
    • If you would like to know more about the application and its security features, then feel free to visit its knowledge base.