Dropbox is awesome but as much as I am enjoying it on a daily basis, I’ve also grown more and more concern about the data security and how safe our data is in other’s hand. The ultimate solution is to encrypt your data before uploading them to the cloud, but it’s just much easy said than being done. We’ve covered five pretty awesome tools that can help you on this to protect your data in the cloud. And today, I am going to introduce another that’s even better and easier.
Viivo, developed by PKWARE (the company who invented .ZIP back in 1986), is a free cloud file encryption service designed to make the encryption of data with ease. When I say “with ease,” I actually really mean it. If you know how to use Dropbox, you’ve already known how to use Viivo.
How it works
Here is how to make it work in 3 steps on Windows.
1. Download the Windows version of the client and install it on your Windows.
2. Launch it the first time, and sign up an account with Viivo.
3. Once the account is created and signed in, Viivo will create a folder called Viivo under user profile, just like Dropbox and SkyDrive, and automatically associate another folder called Viivo-Encrypted that saves the encrypted version of everything stored in original Viivo folder, with .viivo extension name. See Figure 1 and two below.
Now, when you need to save a sensitive file over to Dropbox, simply save it into original Viivo folder, and it will automatically put an encrypted copy in Dropbox for you. The Explorer integration is also enabled to allow you to copy/move data right from the right-click context menu. How easy is that?
HOW SECURE IS IT?
The step 2 described above is actually quite important. Make sure you are using a valid email address with a complicated password. The sign-up process can only be done on the desktop client so no information would be exposed to either Internet or even the people working for Viivo. It’s part of their security design to make sure all user information are saved in a way that cannot be decrypted by anyone other than the original owner.
The password will also be used to generate the private key for AES-256 encryption using PBKDF2 HMAC SHA256. And all files saved with Viivo will be encrypted with the same AES-256 encryption.
If everything works based on these facts, it’s fairly safe in my view.
Integration with smartphones
It has a native app for both iOS and Android devices. Currently, you can only decrypt and view the encrypted the document saved in Dropbox with Viivo, but an encryption version of Viivo is in work towards the next release.
On iOS, you will need to connect to Dropbox from Viivo app to gain access to the files stored in the Viivo-Encrypted folder in Dropbox. And once it’s done, you can browse through the folders and files and read them just like how you use with your Dropbox app.
Viivo is one of the best encryption tools to secure your data right inside your Dropbox. It’s secure and incredibly easy to use with a user-friendly process. The multi-platform support, especially the support for smartphones, puts the data security right in your pocket. Data secured with Viivo can be shared and stored in all major clouds: Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. Viivo also works with private clouds.