Just how secure is your data online? While cloud-based backups have revolutionised the way we store and share data across all our computers and devices, there’s still the thorny question of how secure your data is once it’s online.
Many cloud-based providers encrypt your data before uploading it to the cloud, but some – including Dropbox – encrypt it remotely, which means your data could technically be handed over to someone else by the company in question.
CloudFogger is a free program designed to provide another layer of protection to your data. It’s designed to be used in conjunction with any cloud-based service, but can also be used simply to encrypt selected files and folders on your PC or local network.
The app works like this: after installation, it creates a virtual drive on your computer. You pair this drive with a selected folder on your PC – Cloudfogger will automatically select your Dropbox folder if it’s present, but you can easily specify another cloud-based service by selecting their folder, or simply using it to protect a local or network folder.
You’ll then be prompted to create a Cloudfogger account – it’s not compulsory, but recommended if you wish to share files with others (you can add Cloudfogger IDs to encrypted files, allowing them to be opened by others, and allowing you to share files securely by email, USB drive or other means).
Cloudfogger then creates a special drive – X by default – into which you need to copy your files. These are then invisibly and automatically encrypted using AES, and then copied into the original folder in encrypted form (look for the .clog extension) before being backed up, adding another layer of protection to it.
Files can be accessed on any device that has the Cloudfogger app installed - even in other applications. The major drawback at present is that only Windows and Android (beta) versions have been produced, but Mac and iOS versions are on the horizon to broaden its appeal.
We quite like the idea behind Cloudfogger, but for the everyday user it seems like overkill. However, if you are paranoid about specific files, you’ll probably find the restrictions and extra hoops you have to jump through an acceptable compromise for greater security.
An interesting and versatile tool, but not quite ready for primetime – we’d suggest using it selectively rather than entrusting all of your data to it.