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MiniLock Review – Free, Fast, Easy-to-Use File Encryption Software

In this Minilock review I’d like to introduce you to a free, fast, easy-to-use Google Chrome app that allows you to encrypt and decrypt files or folders for just a few people.  Minilock is a tool you would use to store or send sensitive information across the internet. Let’s say you needed to send last year’s tax forms to your new accountant, or a some confidential business data to your partner, or the location of buried treasure to your captain.  Just bundle it all up in minilock and attach the encrypted file to a standard email.

It works on a single file or folder full of files.  It is built with state-of-the-art elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) that uses relatively short keys generated from your email address and a long passphrase.  This tool offers it all – security, convenience, and simplicity!

Minilock Usage

Using minilock is straightforward.  Install the add-on just like you would any chrome extension.  To encrypt something:

  1. Enter your email and passphrase.  If this is the first time you are using it, you need to come up with a good password.  Curiously it thought my 23-character GOAL password was not good enough, but it offered an 8-English-word alternative.  Strange.  I didn’t like that, so I had my password manager generate one with 32-characters.

    minilock welcome screen
    minilock welcome screen
  2. You’ll get a screen which shows your public key, aka Minilock ID.  This value you share with anyone who needs to be able to encrypt files for you.  The bulk of the screen is a drag-and-drop area for the file/folder you want to encrypt.

    minilock ID and action screen
    minilock ID and action screen
  3. In the next screen you cut/paste the Minilock IDs of the people you want to be able to decrypt your file.  If you leave only your ID, then only you can decrypt it.

    minilock ID inclusion screen
    minilock ID inclusion screen
  4. Boom!  File is encrypted.  Click the down-arrow and it saves the encrypted file to your downloads folder.  You can attach it with any email program or upload it to any file share.  Nobody can read the contents unless their own key was used during the encryption process.  Cool!

    minilock file successfully encrypted
    minilock file successfully encrypted
  5. Decryption works almost exactly the same.  Drag and drop an encrypted file, type your passphrase, Boom!  You have the decrypted file

Is that easy or what?

Minilock file encryption software review conclusion

  • Pros – very easy to use, as bulletproof of an encryption scheme as you can get, open source code audited
  • Cons – ridiculous requirement for passphrase with no hints as to what is acceptable, initially unclear where the files go
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