Most of us know what encryption does, right? It’s a process which encodes messages or information or documents in such as away that only those authorized, those with the right key to open the encrypted document, can read it.
Steganography is a word you may not have heard but it works in a similar method. It hides a file or document inside another file, message, photo, image, or video. Steganography has been around more than 500 years, and you’d think that with the advancements made in computers that it would be a more common method for hiding important information but that hasn’t been the case. Encryption is far more secure than mere security through obscurity.
Still, steganography is an interesting method and if you’re a Mac user, and you’re on a limited budget, then you’ll appreciate Outguess, the free steganography app. Using steganography, and Outguess, is much like encrypting a file. First, select an image. Outguess uses the image or photo to embed a document to the point where it is hidden. Second, select a file or document you want to hide.
Third, choose a password that you will need to use to protect the file embedded within the photo or image. Finally, and this is the easy part, click the Hide button.
Caveats? A few, but nothing serious. First, Outguess actually is Donationware, but free to use. Second, the photo or image must be a JPG (nothing RAW, PSD, GIF, TIFF, PNG or anything else– just JPG). Third, you must have the password to retrieve the file or document from the photo or image. There’s no way around that. Finally, whoever you send the photo or image to must also have Outguess on their Mac.
Otherwise, Outguess is a clever, simple and straightforward method to hide files or documents in plain sight. Who is going to rummage through a few hundred or thousand photos to find your secret codes?