August 31, 2007
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! I want to share something special that happened this week: my son started kindergarten! Yeah, I know it doesn't sound exciting to many of you, but I'm hoping some of you parents or grandparents may understand where I'm coming from. It was a big deal not only for my son (who actually managed not to cry on the first day of school--unlike me), but a big deal for me and my wife. I don't know what it is, but yesterday when I attended my first-ever parent and teacher conference and learned about what his class will be doing for the entire school year--I was just so excited for my son. And let me tell you, the teacher was absolutely incredible! You could tell she was passionate about making a difference in these kids' lives; I know my son will be in good hands. So to all of the teachers out there making a difference, a big thank-you goes out to you!
Now let's tackle Mudiaga's question on how to encrypt and password protect data files and folders. This week we received many great member responses to your question, Mudiaga. And after going through all the submissions, I would have to say that most recommend the use of an encryption software utility to get the job done right. However, there was one utility that was mentioned numerous times and received a lot of high marks. That was TrueCrypt, which is not only free, but available on CNET Download.com here.
In addition to all the recommendations of software utilities, member submissions also included many tips, which ranged from advising against storing any sensitive data on your computer to one member even explaining to us why he prefers not to use encryption. It's all good stuff, so read everyone's answers. Here are a few to get you going. And if any of you have any additional methods that you use to keep your data safe, come on down and post them. All in all, I hope that you find the info provided from our members helpful in protecting your sensitive data better. Be safe, everyone, and have a great weekend!
Member Question of the Week
How would one go about encrypting and password protecting
specific data files or folders on my PC so that in an event
my machine is either accessed physically or through
cyberspace intruders, those people will not be able to access
or open those particular files. Any details or recommendation would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Vote for the most helpful answer
Below are the answers we've selected for you to vote on. Click on the title to read the answer by the member.
Here are the selected submissions grouped in one post.
Vote for John.Wilkinson
Time to vote! Now that you've read our members' answers, which would you consider the most helpful? Click on the button to weigh in on the decision.
(Note: Below is the section to vote, please read the individual answers above before casting your vote below.)
Vote for microbabydad
Vote for cdwatters
For the member whose answer was voted the
most helpful by our community, we will send
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Previous week's Q&AThe votes are in! Below is the answer voted most helpful by our community to last week's question.
I have read the many articles on backing up your computer,
but I have never seen an article that tells me how to do what
I would like to do most, and that is to restore my computer
to the exact same condition it was in before my hard-drive
went belly-up! Well, I should say, to restore it to the state
it was in at the last back-up.
I definitely do not want to have to reinstall Windows,
download all of the "patches," get all the drivers, etc.,
etc. What I really want to do is to keep a back-up of
*everything* so I can put *everything* back the way it was. I
have tried a "restore" before, but was not successful and had
to go through the above tedious procedure.
I will bet you that almost all computer users would like to
know how to do this, and the articles I have seen are not too
clear on whether you can even do it, and if you can't, why
All Roads Lead to Rome... Bill, there are a LOT of options for doing this these days. Some of them are cheaper than others. Some are better than others. Either way you look at it, to do a true, full backup in this day and age, you'll probably need a hard drive equal in size to the one that's currently in your computer. Forget tapes, floppies, CDs and DVDs. None of them are a.) fast enough nor b.) large enough to capture all but the smallest fraction of most modern hard drives. Not to mention, using any of these methods are just no longer up to the task...
Congratulations to the winner!
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
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More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
I have my Windows XP computer set to update automatically and thought all was fine until I checked at the end of June. I found that I had no updates installed since May 10 and nothing I have done so far has helped. When I go to the site to check for critical updates I either get no progress with the scan or else if I get as far as seeing the 11 I need to download I get no further once I click on the INSTALL button. Even trying it singly has not helped. Please help!
We feature a new question every Friday, and if you have the answer for our member, you can submit it above. If your submission is picked by our members as the most helpful answer, you'll receive some cool CNET branded gear.
Have a question?
Home Audio & Video
In a world of hurt--my whole life is on it! (Please explain.)
If my computer was compromised physically or through the Internet, I would be:
(Please click on button to vote)
In pretty bad shape--I have a lot personal data on it. (Please explain.)
OK. I would probably have to only cancel a few credit cards. (Please explain.)
Just fine. I don't store any important or personal data on my computer (Please explain.)
I have no idea.
Other (How would you be?)
Simple question, simple answer
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