You can never be too careful when it comes to security, so if you ever run into someone looking for a padlock for their padlock, don’t be surprised. Of the many things that come under threat and require extra protection, your digital data is possibly the most valuable and frequently targeted. This is why many of us look for ways to padlock our data, i.e., encrypt it so well Tony Stark wouldn’t be able to get to it. BoxCryptor is a well known encryption tool for cloud drives – with clients for Windows, Windows 8 and RT, Mac, iOS and Android – and it has just released an extension for Chrome that lets you encrypt files from Dropbox and Google Drive’s web interface.
The extension is not in the Chrome Web Store just yet so you will have to install it directly from the developer’s website. Drag & drop the downloaded file on to the chrome://chrome/extensions page to install it. It will add a button, the BoxCryptor logo, next to the URL bar.
From the extension’s options you can jump directly to the Dropbox or Google Drive website. This seems slightly counterproductive; the option should be given when the button is clicked and not as part of its settings.
Once installed, go to either Dropbox or Google Drive, and you will see the BoxCryptor button added to the interface. Select a folder and click this button to encrypt it.
Each time you encrypt a new folder, a dialog box opens asking you to select a name for the newly encrypted folder and set a password for it. You can set a separate password for each folder. Be warned that this creates an encrypted copy folder in your cloud drive, which will take up additional space.
An unencrypted version of the folder still sticks around and unless you delete it manually, your files can be accessed from it. To open an encrypted folder, click it and enter the password when prompted.
You can choose to save passwords within the extension by checking the ‘Save Password’ option. To see if the password for a particular folder has been saved to your browser, select it and click the extension’s button.
The extension is great news for users who don’t want to install BoxCryptor on their system for whatever reason, and is a light, reliable utility that you can install when you are using a public system.
It is still buggy, though. We found the BoxCryptor button disappeared often when we navigated away and back to the Dropbox or Google Drive page. At times, we had to refresh the page multiple times to bring the button back. Also, if you sign out of your Google or Dropbox account, the folders you’ve unlocked remain unlocked. The folders are locked again only if you exit the browser altogether. Let’s hope these issues are tended to in the near future.