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Topic # 8546 9-Jul-2006 13:26
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I have installed it... this is my short review.

Overall:
If you have some sensitive files (documents, photos, images, projects or videos *ahem*) that you don't want to have the public snoop-about by anyone else, then Microsoft Private Folder 1.0 is a simple solution for you. Just install and reboot then Voila!

After installation, it will place an icon on the desktop, allowing you to access it by double-clicking it. It will prompt you for password whenever you need to use it. The good thing is, you can use this folder as like any other folder. So if you want to save a file into your private folder, or open a file from there, just navigate to it, type in password (if not already unlocked).

The first time when you use it, it will prompt you to create password. It even have a password-strength meter/gauge to tell you how strong your password is, and a notice to tell you that if you forgot the password, then you have no way to recover/retrieve files within it.

Upon "unlocking" it for usage, there will be a systray icon in the notification area, which allow you to set options, or lock, and help of course.

Pros:
* Simple to install and use.
* Free.
* Files are encrypted, and have options to export encrypted file for later importation, while retaining password protection.
* Auto lock after several idle minutes (user set).
* Allow importation from another Private Folder (presumably different user, with the correct respective password)
* Support both NTFS and Fat32.

Cons:
* Only 1 copy per user account.
* Can only be on the desktop.
* Folder cannot be accessed from command prompt.
* No accessible over the shared network.
* Folder name cannot be renamed.
* No 64-bit.
* WGA-awared program.

Notes:
* DO NOT FORGET your password.
* Private Folder cannot be deleted or move, other than using the option to remove Private Folder.
* Make sure you have plenty of power juice when changing password, if power gets interrupted, your files may be corrupted and unretrievable.
* DO CHECK OUT the help.




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  Reply # 40712 9-Jul-2006 16:12

hi cheifie, what encryption algorithms does that use?
I use something similar in Linux; dm-crypt which is very flexible. I use it as an on-the-fly encrypted backup solution for customers using a USB2 external hard disk.




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I iz your trusted friend
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  Reply # 40713 9-Jul-2006 17:20
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I wouldn't have know what type of encryption. That you'll have to ask MS. i review from the point of a normal user's usage.

The help did suggest the use of EFS as in Windows XP Pro. however EFS is not available in XP Home.

Once again, bear in mind that MS Private Folder is just a very basic, easy to use simple application for storing person/private files. It stores at \Documents and Settings\{username}\My Private Folder\ which has desktop.ini pointing to a CLSID which belongs to the subsystem My Private Folder 1.0 API.


Anyway... i think it works great, could be better but i haven't see the need to have more features to be added, it suits me just well, easy to install and to use. Although, I do like the possiblity to have folder placed elsewhere, and perhaps multiple private folders either same password or multiple passwords.




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  Reply # 40714 9-Jul-2006 17:25
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Also.. MS Private Folder is a folder-based file safe. You will have to open it with password or lock it with password.

It is not a partition/volume/disk encryption, if you need encryption and you have XP PRo, you can use EFS or what Jama suggested (True Crypt)... MS Private Folder is different, it allows you to store your private files away in this folder, and lock it so whoever is operating on your current logged-in session, will need to know your password to get into that particular folder.

So be good if you have a guest using your computer on your account, and you got sensitive stuff that you won't want anyone to see except you.



(But if you have guest regularily use your computer, best you set up a separate guest account for guest usage only.)




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  Reply # 41767 16-Jul-2006 12:38
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It's ashame that MS was forced to withdraw MS Private Folder from download, as many IT administrators and companies outcried that it may compromise the company's security and because it is encrypted that it cannot be accessible to the IT admistrators.


I don't see how this is any different from EFS encrypted folder, as IT admin still not able to access it if they are not the rightful owner. (ok, there are ways around it...)


Or, why don't the IT admins actually do Group Policy control? Preventing application installation? OR give users, the actual user rights and not admin! GEeeez.


Or... how is this different from other applications that you can get and do the same... or password protected ZIP/RAR??? How so???





Bugger, there are a lot of idiotic IT Admins out there! totally CLUELESS!


I for one, like this app and it is great!!! I best keep my copy as it is now a rare app from MS.




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Reply # 41768 16-Jul-2006 13:09
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IT Admins, I am sorry, but some are very clueless... As Chiefie says, it's no different from someone purchasing a copy of PGP Disk, or Steganos and then calling you guys to say "I stuffed up".







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  Reply # 41775 16-Jul-2006 17:23

what a nightmare for admins! god forbid they be altruistic or respect people's privacy! (or maybe terrorists could use it?)
sorry I dont like being sarcastic.. but that software looked good :-\




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  Reply # 41777 16-Jul-2006 17:58
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Its a cool little program that I like, but I do wonder just how secure it really is....

I was trying out Microsoft 'Folder Share' and noticed that although the folder was 'locked', the files showed up and were acessable through folder shqare over the net very easily?

Also it does not have to be accessed just on the desktop, can be accessed through Documents and Settings, under your name, then a shortcut can be made to go anywhere, so the desktop icon can be deleted...

What I do not like though is you cannot specify which folder you want to be private...
It just defualts to "C:\Documents and Settings\your profile\My Private Folder"

Anyways....




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