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I want to hide some of my private photos, is there any security software doing this? Is encryption enough or are there other ways? What are the popular software for this purpose? Thanks.
There are things like encfs or truecrypt, and several
other solutions out there. I'd prefer those over an
encryption with GPG because they work transparently.
With encfs (I use it a bit) you create and encrypted
file-system with a mount-point via FUSE that lets you
access the files normally - when you un-mount FUSE the
files (and their names) are plain garble.
You can also tar the files and then 7zip them with 7zip's password-protected encryption function.
IMO this is safer than an encrypted filing system, I've heard too many horror stories of people losing entire partitions through an encrypted filing system that just died, got corrupted or didn't handle an unforseen power loss / power outage well (especially if it was busy decrypting / encrypting when the system lost power).
I had a bad experience with this; entirely my own fault no doubt. I thought gnupg was like any other encryption: if you know the passphrase, you can unlock the files. Little did I know that the keyring you generate is unique and that if you lose it, you will never be able to decrypt your data again. FYI, don't count on being able to regenerate a new key with the old passphrase. So I'd endorse the encrypted filesystem.
Thanks guys for your suggestions. I am still looking around. This encryption thing is more complicated than I thought! By the way, reason I need to encrypt photos...highly confidential lol!!
If gnupg is to difficult for you use something else. I would recommend a symmetric encryption; something like for example 128bit AEC etc. Basically the same password encrypts and decrypts your files. No need to keep public/private keys somewhere on your disk.
Another "easy" option is to use truecrypt software. Very easy to use even for beginners.
I myself use gnupg, with the use of the frontend KGpg in KDE. Every time I login the KGpg icon sits in the Systray and I can open an manage my passphrase files easily. It's very easy to use. Be sure to make a backup of your passphrase folder that sits in $HOME/.gnupg. I do this simply by using tar and saving the file on my USB stick, for example in my home directory:
$ tar cvf /media/USBDISK/gnupg.tar .gnupg
To restore all you do is:
$ tar xvf /media/USBDISK/gnupg.tar
You can restore the passphrase anywhere you want, even if you reinstall your system.
As for pictures, I don't encrypt mine, but I guess the best way to do it is to pack the files into a zipped one and then encrypt the zip file with KGpg. It's easy again, because when you RightClick on the file, you will have a menu Actions -> Encrypt File. Otherwise, when opening each picture you would be asked to give the password with every file, if you want to encrypt 100 files, it would be pretty annoying to open them, don't you think?
As for using chmod and chgrp, today we all know anyone can download a fully functional Live DVD with Linux that can mount and read any file system, even your hard drive, so using those commands are good in you local home or working environment, where you don't want your fiance to look at your pictures and who knows very little about IT stuff.
Personally, I also wouldn't also dare to encrypt my whole file system. It's too dangerous and it's good for people who have some good knowledge how things work and how to recover files when you have a disaster. The other question is how you can port files from such a system to another computer?