When it comes to protecting your precious data from prying eyes, nothing beats encryption. Whether you are an individual seeking to protect your personal documents or a company that has to guarantee the confidentiality of customer data, it is essential to have a reliable encryption tool. In light of this, we would like to introduce you today to Picocrypt, a simple and lightweight open-source encryption software available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Presentation of Picocrypt: Your open source encryption tool
- Advanced software features: What makes its difference
- Why opt for Picocrypt: Comparison with other encryption tools
- How to download and use Picocrypt
- Encrypting files with Picocrypt
- Deciphering files with Picocrypt
- What to remember
Presentation of Picocrypt: Your open source encryption tool
Picocrypt, a free, multi-platform encryption software, is designed to protect your files. It stands out due to its small size of only 3 MB, making it an incredibly lightweight tool in comparison to alternatives like Cryptomator and VeraCrypt.
Despite its compact size, Picocrypt offers robust security through its utilization of the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm and the Argon2id key hash and derivation function. The developer highlights that even government agencies such as the NSA would struggle to decipher data encrypted with Picocrypt.
One of the key strengths of Picocrypt is its user-friendly nature. Its simple user interface allows you to easily drag and drop your files, enter a password, and click “Encrypt”. The software handles complex procedures internally, ensuring that secure encryption is accessible to everyone.
Advanced software features: What makes its difference
For more experienced users, Picocrypt offers several interesting features:
- Password generator: To ensure the security of your data, it is crucial to choose a strong password. Picocrypt assists you by providing a built-in password generator. This tool creates robust and customizable passwords, ensuring an optimal level of security.
- Key files: The software offers the option to utilize key files for additional authentication. This feature enhances security by requiring not only a password but also a specific file for decrypting the data.
- Paranoid mode: For those seeking the utmost level of security, Picocrypt provides the paranoid mode. This mode encrypts the data using a cascade of two encryption algorithms (XChaCha20 and Serpent) and utilizes HMAC-SHA3 for data authentication.
- Reed-Solomon error correction: Picocrypt can incorporate a Reed-Solomon error correction code into your encrypted files. This enables the correction of data corruption errors of up to approximately 3% of the file.
- Force decryption: In the event of file corruption, Picocrypt allows for forced decryption to attempt to recover as much data as possible.
- Split into chunks: This feature enables the division of large files into several parts, making it easier to manage and deliver them via cloud storage services.
- File compression: Picocrypt offers the option to compress files, reducing the size of encrypted files.
- Recursive encryption: If you need to encrypt a large number of files individually, Picocrypt provides the ability to recursively browse through each file and encrypt them separately.
Why opt for Picocrypt: Comparison with other encryption tools
If you’re contemplating why you should choose Picocrypt over more well-known solutions such as VeraCrypt, 7-zip, BitLocker, or Cryptomator, here are some compelling reasons that might persuade you:
- Open source and auditable: Unlike BitLocker and most cloud services, Picocrypt and its dependencies are entirely open source and auditable. This means that you have the ability to personally verify that there are no backdoors or security flaws.
- Lightweight and portable: Picocrypt is extremely lightweight, requiring no installation, and it does not need administrator or root privileges to function. This makes the software easy to use, regardless of your location.
- Designed for security: Picocrypt was developed with security as its top priority. Unlike 7-zip, which primarily serves as an archiving utility, Picocrypt focuses specifically on security. Additionally, it not only protects your data but also authenticates it, preventing malicious alterations.
- Data corruption protection: Picocrypt incorporates additional Reed-Solomon parity bytes to safeguard against header data corruption. This means that even if a portion of the volume header is corrupted, Picocrypt can still recover the header and decrypt your data.
How to download and use Picocrypt
Encrypting files with Picocrypt
- Download the Picocrypt software from the GitHub platform.
- Then launch the program on your computer.
- Drag and drop your files into the software interface. You will notice that the total number of files will occur at the top of the window.
- Choose a solid encryption password and fill it in the “Password” and “Confirm Password” fields.
- If you wish, you can select advanced options that we have described earlier in the article, but this is not mandatory.
- Choose a destination folder for the future encrypted file by clicking on the “Chang” button, but this step is also optional.
- Finally, click on the “Encrypt” button to start the process of encrypting your data. Once this process is completed, you can find your encrypted file (.pcv format) in the directory you have previously selected.
Congratulations. You just encrypt files/folders with Picocrypt.
Deciphering files with Picocrypt
- Run the Picocrypt software on your computer.
- Drag and drop the encrypted file with the .pcv extension into the software interface.
- Enter the decryption password, then click the “Decrypt” button.
“Look, you’ve just deciphered your data.”
What to remember
In conclusion, Picocrypt is a compact yet powerful encryption solution that combines ease of use with high security. Its open-source nature, portability, and strong emphasis on data protection make it a compelling alternative to more cumbersome and intricate encryption software. Whether you need to safeguard sensitive personal data or secure business transactions, Picocrypt offers a reliable option worth considering.