For the rest of us, security and privacy have come issues of concern and debate. Apple builds into OS X a way to encrypt your files for greater security (open System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, click the FileVault tab, proceed with caution (encrypting can take awhile).
For Mac users who need to send, share, or store files but want another level of security there are many, many encryption options available, but here are two good ones and both are free. The first is OS X itself, or, rather, the Disk Utility in Applications > Utilities. Here’s how it works.
Open Disk Utility, click on New Image in the top toolbar. This begins the process of creating an encrypted disk image to save files which can be shared or stored. Give the image file a name, select the size and format, then select the type of encryption. Those steps give you what amounts to a secure and encrypted folder of files on your Mac which can be password protected.
Disk Utility works fine but has plenty of steps. Encrypto is also free and easier to use. Grab the files or folders you want to secure and drop them on the Encrypto app.
Add a password hint and a password, then click the Encrypt button. Done.
As easy as it sounds to use Encrypto, there are a few additional features that make it a better choice than Disk Utility for the same price. Sharing an Encrypto file is easier– Mail, AirDrop, Messages, Dropbox, whatever.
Encrypto is a good computer citizen because there’s also a Windows PC version so you can save and send files to your co-workers or PC brethren. Nice, huh? And free.