Flash-Lock Simplifies Flashdrive Security with its Transparent Encryption Technology

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The same features that make flashdrives popular and convenient also leave them vulnerable. Whether through loss, or theft, the data on these drives can easily get into the wrong hands. Unfortunately many accept the risk rather than deal with the complexities of implementing an effective security system. PC-Magic Software hopes to change that with its new Flash-Lock software utilizing "transparent encryptionâ„¢". This technology keeps all files on the flashdrive encrypted at all times but allows users to use the files normally, as if they were not encrypted, just by entering a password when the drive is first inserted.

Anyone who has shopped computer stores this season knows flashdrives are a hot ticket item. These flash memory storage devices are fast becoming the preferred method for transporting data between computers, replacing CDs, DVDs and floppies. It's not hard to understand why. They're small (smaller than a pack of gum) and rugged - there's even a "Swiss knife" contraption with a flashdrive incorporated. The newer ones can hold more data than DVDs and have an estimated lifetime of 25-50 years. But most importantly, they're painless to use. Just plug them into a USB port and within seconds the user's data is available.

But their convenience also makes them vulnerable. Who wants to hassle with security when the beauty of these devices is their simplicity? However, lose a flashdrive, or have it stolen, and sensitive data could end up in the wrong hands. Think about what gets stored on flashdrives. What would happen if the wrong people got ahold of it? Leave a flashdrive keychain unattended and within seconds someone could transfer the data to their palm computer. Unfortunately, many would rather accept this risk than deal with the hassles of implementing and using an effective security system.

PC-Magic Software hopes to change all that with their new "Flash-Lock" software which they claim makes flashdrive security painless. It's utilizes what they call "transparent encryption" technology to protect flashdrive data. This simply means that the files remain encrypted on the drive at all times, but the user can use the files normally, as though they weren't encrypted, just by entering their password when the flashdrive is first inserted.

The way Flash-Lock does this is by inserting itself into the Windows XP or Win2000 file system as a filter. When a program requests data, Flash-Lock intercepts the data after it's read from the flashdrive and decrypts it instantly, behind the scenes, before passing it back up. Likewise when a program writes data, Flash-Lock intercepts the data and encrypts it before passing it down to be written to the flashdrive. In this way the files remain encrypted with 128 bit Blowfish at all times, but appear normal to the user. If the user elects, Flash-Lock also uses the same process to scramble the filenames so the names of their files are nonsensical when the flashdrive is locked but normal once unlocked.

To add Flash-Lock protection to a flashdrive the user just runs Flash-Lock, clicks the "Add protection" button, and waits for Flash-Lock to encrypt the files and scramble the filenames They only need do this once. From then on they just run the Unlock program on the flashdrive, input their password, and use their files like they always have. The transparent decryption and encryption of their data is so fast they'll likely forget they're using encrypted files at all.

Flash-Lock requires XP or Windows 2000/2003 for its "transparent encryption" to work. Windows 98/ME users can use the files but without the automatic encryption/ decryption that XP users enjoy - they have to decrypt the files first before using them. At this time Flash-Lock protected media does not work on Linux or the Macintosh.

Why should users risk having their sensitive data get into the wrong hands when they can have very effective security that is simple to use? And affordable. Flash-Lock Lite, which is for personal use only, is $14.95. The Power version of Flash-Lock, which also protects CDs, DVDs, and floppies, is $29.95. Users can evaluate either version for 30 days without cost or obligation. Just visit http://www.Flash-Lock.com for the download.

There are no longer have any excuses for not securing flashdrive data.

For more information or to download the trial version of Flash-Lock visit http://www.Flash-Lock.com

About PC-Magic Software:

PC-Magic Software has been developing and publishing innovative quality software for over 20 years. Some of their products include Magic Folders, Encrypted Magic Folders and CD-Lock.

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Scott Chaney
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