Security Corner

Feb 20 2010   4:00PM GMT

Software for Secure Computing: LockNote

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Steganos GmbH (Germany) provides LockNote for free so you can encrypt sensitive information in text files. LockNote is open source and is based upon open source technologies, e.g. the certified CryptoPP program library for strong encryption.

The program is not meant to be a robust security solution; rather, it’s a portable memo pad that enables you to store text information, using 256-bit AES encryption. Storage is limited to plain text without formatting; you need to create multiple copies to organize or use it for different purposes, but each LockNote is self-contained. You can type any text you want, e.g your bank account information, website passwords, social security number etc. and then simply close LockNote, at which time you will be prompted to set a password. You can drop any text file onto the app and you’ll be asked if you want to convert it.

I tried to drop a PDF file onto LockNote and got the message, “The file [filename] can not be converted and will be skipped. Only files with the extension .txt can be converted.

When you double click on LockNote.exe, you’re greeted with all the instructions you need to use it:

Welcome to Steganos LockNote.

Type some text and close Steganos LockNote when you are done. What you typed will be encrypted using a password, which you supply.

You can also drop text documents on Steganos LockNote to turn them into encrypted self-opening documents as well.

You can start over by removing all text. You can also clear the text field to reset the password.

It doesn’t get much simpler and easier than that.

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