The advantage to browsing the Mac App Store is simple. That’s where you find more new apps. The disadvantage is equally simple. It’s so easy to buy apps that a credit card balance can balloon beyond recognition.
Yesterday I was browsing around looking for a simple file encryption app for a co-worker. What I found surprised me. There are a few dozen apps on the Store which can encrypt files, save and secure passwords, all in an effort to help you keep certain files or photos or documents away from prying eyes.
A few encryption apps caught my eye, including DropKey which simplifies the file encryption process and makes it easy to share files securely (as securely as they can be once you send them to someone else).
It couldn’t be much easier. Just drag and drop files onto DropKey, then click the Encrypt and Send button.
A little less expensive is Concealer which is more of a repository for encrypted files and information. It hides files and protects them using the standard AES-256 bit encryption. Only when using Concealer can the files be viewed.
One of the better values is Final Crypter which features drag and drop encryption, a password manager, and a clever way to target others with your secured, encrypted files.
Among others, TXTcrypt is free and encrypts text files (texts, notes, email). Another favorite is Keychain2Go which syncs the Keychain between Macs and iPhone and iPad so you can keep secure and sensitive information wherever you go.
While many of these encryption apps work well there are a couple of issues. The first has to do with lock in. Once you begin encrypting and storing files you’re pretty much stuck with that encryption app and changing to another can be tedious and time consuming.
The second has to do with too many Mac App Store apps. There’s no trial-before-you-buy option for most, and my threshold for throwaway money is about $1.99. Anything above that needs a free trial option.