Sending out sensitive data on unsecured networks carries a considerable amount of risk. Anyone with malicious intentions and the proper knowledge can easily hack into your network and intercept the messages. If confidential documents containing financial information, passwords, or other important data get into the wrong hands, there can be a major security problem. In order to keep yourself safe, you can encrypt your data with a key and send the key to the intended recipient. However, some advanced hackers can even break some high level encryption if they locate the file. Another method to send your data in a safe way is by using a Steganography technique that involves infusing your data inside an image without changing the image itself. Steg is one such tool that performs the job flawlessly. This way, even if your file is intercepted by anyone, it will be a normal image file in the eyes of others, and there will be no visual indication of the encoded data. Keep reading to find out how to embed your sensitive data into an image using Steg.
Steg supports a number of image formats including BMP, JPG, JPEG, PNG, PPM and TIFF. The toolbar at the top contains all the necessary options needed to encode a message into an image. Hovering your mouse over each button will display a tooltip regarding its function.
First, load an image that you want to use as the media for encoding the message into. Once the image has been loaded, click the Configuration button to access all the settings.
Steg options are split in two sections. Common Options deal with the options related to all the file types, while Special Options are for only the selected media type. Here, you can embed a text message of up to 256 characters into the image. After entering your text message, just select the Crypto Mode and enter a Pass Phrase. Note that unless all the criteria are met, the OK button will not be highlighted.
In order to hide a complete file, select the Hide Data option from the toolbar or access it through the Hide menu at the top. You can choose any file and it will be embedded into the selected image. When done, choose Save and specify a location to save the encrypted image.
The information can be extracted using the Extract button on the toolbar. When extracted, the embedded file will be saved to the computer along with the image. This article only explains the basic way of embedding data into an image and there is more to the tool for advanced users. Detailed information regarding the tool can be found in its Help menu. Steg is a portable application and works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Window Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.