The days of sharing a single computer with the entire family are almost over, and most people have a separate computer system for each family member. This means you have your very own system to do whatever you want. It’s entirely up to you what your desktop looks like, how you keep files organized and which apps are installed. While you get all this freedom with your personal computer, there still isn’t any guarantee that you will never have to share or lend it to someone. The number one concern you have with someone else accessing your system is privacy. Obscurity is a free Mac app that provides you the simplest way to hide your files. Unlike marking them as hidden files or adding them to an encrypted drive, the app itself acts as a cover for your files. It creates a a mock folder that looks like a normal one, but will not open when double clicked. To be able to open it, you need to right-click the folder and select the Show Package Contents option.
Obscurity is unlike other methods for hiding files; it’s more like hiding something in plain sight. The folder acts like an app for anyone who doesn’t know how to open it. The idea is that files hidden like this will not be easy to open and any unknown user will pass it off as a problematic folder.
Once installed, make sure the app’s folder is not on your desktop or you will not be able to copy files to it. Adding it to the Dock will also prevent you from adding files to it. Open the folder by right-clicking it and selecting the Show Package Contents option. If you don’t see this option, it means you’re accessing the app. Right click and select Open to bypass Gatekeeper and you will find a folder named Obscurity in the window that opens. Double clicking to open the folder will either yield an error or an empty folder. Open it via the Show Package Contents option and drag files over this folder. Close it when you’re done.
There are no passwords to set and no encryption involved. The files will not be indexed by Spotlight and will not appear in All Files in the Finder. The best thing about this app is that it accomplishes its purpose of hiding your files. It disguises them and renders them inaccessible. On the bad side, with no password protection, a slightly smarter user might be able to get to your files.
Using Obscurity as a safe way to hide your files largely depends on how long you will be away from your system or how long will it be with someone who is either nosy or untrustworthy. If you’ve got files that are truly incriminating or detrimental to you should anyone get their hands on them, you must choose a more complex and secure method to hide your files. For the more moderate needs, Obscurity will do.