Chapter in this post:
The MacPaw software booth is already through CleanMyMac and I baked the SetApp software subscription grown fond of my heart and today I came across a great tool from them that is also offered free of charge: Encrypto.
While I was in a forum again today, I stumbled upon a question from a reader who was looking for a program with which he could encrypt files on his Mac and then transfer them to an SD card or USB stick to exchange it with a friend who has a Windows PC.
I'm on the tool with my first research TrueCrypt became aware, but that has been discontinued for years. The project probably offered cross-platform encryption of data carriers, but was then closed. Evil tongues claim that the encryption was too good for the secret services. ;-)
The alternative VeraCrypt I installed it once, but already during the installation the message comes up that an additional software is called OSXFUSE install for VeraCrypt to work. That was again too time-consuming and not really easy enough to be expected of laypeople.
After another quarter of an hour of research, at some point Google hit me with the software Encrypto from MacPaw which obviously exactly meets my needs: A simple tool that can be dragged and dropped with files and folders. The archive is then encrypted and protected with a password, for which you can even include a password hint for the recipient if you do not want to give the partner the password.
If the password is not entered correctly, the archive remains a heap of data garbage that is provided with AES-265 encryption - so pretty much useless for anyone who gets their hands on it without authorization and does not know what the password is.
Of course, the archive has nothing to oppose a brute force attack, but let's assume that you only want to encrypt medium-important data with it and not the blueprints of Fort Knox.
Since the tool is also available for Windows, you can open the encrypted archive on the PC after installation and save the data from it.
Incidentally, the files that were thrown into Encrypto using drag and drop are retained at their original location and are not changed. The encrypted archive can be sent directly from Encrypto to mail, messages, AirDrop or send the Notes app or just save anywhere. The file extension is always ".crypto".
The handling of Encrypto is really foolproof and the only weak point I see is the choice of the password, where the user might type in an easy one to guess. But that's not a point to chalk up on Encrypto. ;-)
[appbox app store id935235287]
So that you can actually read the USB stick or SD card on both systems (Win and Mac), you have to "delete" it in the hard disk utility and select the "ExFat" format.
A data medium formatted in this way can be read and written to under both macOS and Windows.
If you want to encrypt your data without always having to access a program like Encrypto, you can also use the hard drive utility to format entire USB sticks, SD cards or hard drives in "APFS encrypted" or "Mac OS Extended Journaled, encrypted". A password is requested during setup, which you must always enter in the future if you want to mount the data carrier.
However, due to the file system, such a data carrier cannot be read by Windows computers and is therefore more suitable for people who only use Macs.
However, this type of encryption has the advantage that the data is always encrypted. Even if you unplug the hard drive during operation and plug it into another Mac, the latter first wants to have the password for decryption.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.