Who knows of a SIMPLE file level encryption solution for Mac?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
What's a good file encryption solution for MAC (that's snow leopard compatible) that DOES NOT rely on using encrypted disc images?

All I want to do is encrypt some scan jpegs and pdfs of financial documents so they can be transferred over the web safely. That's it. Mac's filevault and solutions like Knox are overkill for me. Who knows of a simple file-level encryption program that'll run on snow leopard?

Anyone? THANKS!!


  • Reply 1 of 4
    irelandireland Posts: 17,796member
    I have long been wanting this on the OS. It should be a simple right-click away. Then type in admin password, then optionally use a once off password for just that folder, or stick with the admin password. Then when the folder is clicked it would ask for the password.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Well... for fold encryption their is "Espionage" ... but I'm just looking for drag and drop simplicity on a FILE encryption level only.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,174moderator
    Generally encryption software goes the disk image route because it encrypts the whole filesystem, which includes metadata, filenames, erased files etc. but I do think there is a need to implement a filesystem-level per-file encryption mechanism.

    There are a couple of programs that do individual file encryption but you have to drop them on and delete the original and always decrypt a copy before using and then encrypt again. Examples are Crypt:


    and Meo:


    FileVault would be a much better and more reliable system if the individual files were encrypted.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    Right-click to encrypt a file or group of files would be nice to have, but for now there's always Disk Utility and encrypted disk images.

    In Finder, press shift-command-U to open the utilities folder, find Disk Utility app and launch it. Once it's open, press the "New Image" icon in the toolbar.
    • In the "Save As" box, enter the name you'd like the disk image file to have, and choose a location to save it.

    • In "Volume Name" enter the name you'd like for the logical disk that mounts when the disk image file is double-clicked (you'll probably want to give it the same name as the disk image file, but you don't have to)

    • Choose a volume size large enough to house all the data you're likely to want to put in the disk (you can make it a lot bigger than necessary as we're going to create a "sparse" image that starts at the minimum size (about 2 megs) and grows to accommodate data added, with the proviso that the maximum size it can grow to equals the "Volume Size" you choose at creation time).

    • In "Volume Format" choose "Mac OS Extended (journaled)"

    • In "Encryption", choose 128 bit (256 is overkill unless you intend to use an insanely long password)

    • Leave "Partitions" as "No partition map"

    • Choose "sparse disk image" for the "Image Format"

    When you press create, you'll be asked to enter a password. Untick the "Remember password in my keychain", which is oddly selected by default; to counter-balance this unhelpfulness, there is the extremely useful password strength indicator. Enter your desired password twice, press OK, the disk image file will be created and the disk mounted in Finder.

    You can now copy over your files to the disk image, and secure delete them from your main disk. Unmount the disk image volume, and your files are now encrypted; double-clicking the disk image file will require you to enter the password in order to mount the volume and view the files.

    This may seem insanely long-winded, but once you know what you're doing the whole process takes less than a minute.
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