If you routinely store files somewhere other than your computer’s hard drive, you are probably saving them to the cloud—the network of servers that essentially make up the Internet. While some cloud servers host services—such as Adobe’s Creative Suite or Gmail—others store a variety of data and are becoming increasing popular with business and individual users alike. Dropbox has over 500 million users. Google Drive boasts more than a million paid customers, and millions more who subscribe to Microsoft’s Office 365 use OneDrive to store their documents, photos and videos remotely.
However, while cost-efficient and convenient, cloud storage isn’t always secure. Just think about the recent Equifax data breach in which hackers were able to steal the sensitive personal information—including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers of 143 million American consumers. Equifax had stored that information in the cloud but failed to adequately protect it, exposing millions of consumers to potential identity theft.
While there’s nothing you can do to safeguard sensitive personal information credit-reporting institutions like Equifax collect without your permission, there are tools you can use to protect the files you choose to store on the cloud. One of these is end-to-end encryption, and the easy-to-use encryption software from Boxcryptor makes it simple to do so.
Protection that Retains the Benefits of Cloud Storage
Founded in 2011 by Andrea Pfundmeier (CEO) and Robert Freudenreich (CTO), Boxcryptor was inspired by the need to protect data stored in the cloud.
“One important requirement of such a solution was to keep all the benefits that cloud storage providers like Dropbox offer,” Pfundmeier explained, “including to remotely access all needed data on all devices and to share files with others. Back then, there was no encryption solution available which would offer such a service.”
The solution Pfundmeier and Freudenreich developed became known as Boxcryptor.
Available for All Popular Platforms
Available for a variety of platforms including Windows and Mac OS PCs, Android and iOS devices, Windows Phone and Blackberry, Boxcryptor supports almost every cloud storage provider.
“Boxcryptor encrypts your files on your own device before they are synchronized to a cloud storage provider of your choice such as Dropbox, Google Drive or many more,” Pfundmeier added. “First you install the local Boxcryptor software available in the app stores or on the Boxcryptor website. You can then encrypt existing files on your desktop platform with a single click or create new files that are automatically encrypted.”
When using Boxcryptor on a mobile device, users can directly connect to their storage provider and send their encrypted files to the cloud.
“The encryption happens in the background and, therefore, will not interrupt accustomed workflows,” Pfundmeier said. “Because Boxcryptor is based on the zero-knowledge principle, nobody but the user himself can access the data in the cloud. Since only the user knows the password, only he can decrypt the data. As a consequence, one can be sure that data does not fall into the wrong hands.”
Free and Paid Subscriptions for Individuals and Businesses
Pfundmeier said that Boxcryptor currently has customers from more than 190 countries worldwide and is adding more users every day.
“Back in 2011 when we started, we had to explain why people should encrypt their cloud,” she said. “Now in 2017 and several data scandals later, users know how important it is to protect their sensitive data. Of course, the definition of sensitive depends on the user. We have families that encrypt every single photo of their children because it is sensitive data for them. Others consider a copy of their passport or the data they send to their tax accountant as sensitive. It depends on the user and on the risk scenario.”
Individuals can use the free version of Boxcryptor, which will connect to one cloud provider and can be synced across two devices. If they choose to subscribe to Boxcryptor Personal, they can connect to an unlimited number of cloud providers and sync across an unlimited number of devices. They’ll also gain access to the filename encryption feature and email software support. Boxycryptor Personal is available for $48 per year, and students can receive a 25 percent discount when they submit a copy of their student ID.
Boxcryptor is available for business users as well. Boxcryptor Business includes group management and higher priority for support cases. The annual fee is a mere $96.