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Format: Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled), or, if it’s only going to be used with Macs running macOS 10.13 or later, choose APFS. Encryption: Choose 256-bit encryption. It’s more secure, and, while Disk Utility tells you that it’s slower, you generally don’t need to worry about speed unless your disk image is huge.
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By Gina Barrow, Last updated: April 24, 2020
Encryption is the safest and best way to protect data as it encodes a certain file or information in such a way that only authorized users or those with passwords can access. Information including bank details, sensitive personal records should be encrypted to avoid data theft.
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Computer operating systems have built-in encryption features but these provide easy to medium form of security and still prone to expert hackers. You need to invest in encryption software if it is a requirement for your type of usage. Here are the top 5 best encryption software for Macin 2020. Check out which one works for your needs.
Part 1. Why Need to Encrypt Mac Files?
All vital files stored inside a computer including Mac need to be encrypted for security purposes. If you happen to hear, watch, and read the news, there are reported cases of stolen identities and bank information due to unsecured files saved inside people’s stolen laptops and computers.
To avoid such hassle, you can rely on encryption software for Mac but the main concern here is what the best software to use is.
Part 2. Apple’s Encryption Software for Mac for free
If you are concerned about data privacy and your Mac contains sensitive information that must be kept personal, then you should use encryption. Apple has its own encryption software that users can utilize for free. There are actually different ways on how to encrypt files on Mac.
Encryption via Disk Utility
- Use the spotlight search and type in Disk Utility. You can also go to Utilities under Applications.
- Go to File on the topmost tools and hover to New Image then click on Image from Folder
- Select the folder you wish to encrypt from the newly popped-up window
- Rename the file you want to encrypt and go to the bottom part where you can set the encryption settings
- You can choose between the 128 and the 256-bit. (The higher the encryption the better but it takes slower time to complete request)
- Once you have selected your encryption method, you need to provide and verify your password. (Note: Remember your password because it will never grant you access to the given folder until the correct password is supplied). Click Choose.
- For the Image format, you can choose compressed.
- Wait until the encryption is completed.
This type of encryption affects the folder and its file contents so anytime you wish to open the folder and the files inside, you need to provide the password.
- You can now see a new Archive folder on the desktop which was the same file you encrypted
- You can delete the old folder to remove any access to it
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FileVault is full-disk encryption that uses XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key to preventing unauthorized access to your personal information on the startup disk. Basically, you won’t be able to go through Mac unless you provide the password.
The FileVault2 is available in OS X Lion and later versions. All you need to take advantage of this feature is to turn on FileVault in your Mac. Here’s how:
- Go to Security & Privacy under System Preferences
- Click the FileVault tab and click on the lock icon
- Enter the administration username and password
- Turn on FileVault
If you are using multiple users on Mac, you can enable each user and type in their assigned password.
Print to PDF
Another file encryption method in Mac is the Print to PDF wherein you can do the security lock on the print window itself after creating or editing certain file/s.
- Go to Print
- Choose PDF
- Click Save as PDF
- Before saving it, go to Security Options
- Check the box for your desired password security measures
- Don’t forget to verify the password and click Save
Part 3. The Best Encryption Software for Mac in 2020
In the sea of many software and applications, there seems to be plenty of programs dedicated to single-use or single-function. They are good because they focus on one solution, however, they also cost more expensive.
If you browse thoroughly, you will discover that there are a few applications that offer sets of operations and toolkits specially designed for Mac. FoneDog PowerMyMac - Cleaner provides comprehensive modules dedicated to Mac OS. It has three powerful modules: Toolkit, Status, and Cleaner.
Inside FoneDogPowerMyMac-Cleaner Toolkit, there is a robust function called Hide and Encrypt Files. This feature allows you to create a password-protected folder and store sensitive files in it by drag and drop. It lets you turn on and off in case you may not use the feature.
- Free download version
- Auto-lock setup
- Uses the safest encryption system
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How cool is that? This program has made an easier way to protect you from possible data theft.
Part 4. Other Mac Encryption Tools
Apart from FoneDog PowerMyMac-Cleaner, there is other top performing software that also provides convenience and security.
Hider2 has the ability to hide and encrypt data on your Mac securely including notes, documents, photos, etc. One of its positive scores is the user-friendly interface which suits beginner to average users.
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- Provides auto-lock feature when the user is inactive or idled
- Uses AES-256 encryption for the safest system
Cisdem AppCrypt offers both website and app encryption system that locks you apps and accessed websites with passwords. It creates a blacklist for suspicious access and whitelist for trusted users. However, it does not have the file encryption ability that sets passwords for the desired file and folders.
- Keeps a list of login attempts to let you know who opens your apps
GNU Privacy Guard
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GNU Privacy Guard is hybrid Mac encryption software that uses a combination of standard symmetric-key cryptography and public-key cryptography. It mainly features a versatile key management system to protect your personal privacy and the privacy of the people you are communicating with.
- Versatile (has Windows and Mac versions)
- Free Software
However, since it provides you with a private key for safekeeping, you might end up having a hard time figuring out how to decode it once the keys are lost.
Concealer is another trusted name in terms of hiding files and encryption. It provides an automatic password assistant that generates “strong” passwords. One of its main advantages is providing and organizing folders by having default templates for various accounts such as bank accounts, email, software registration, and more.
- Customizable auto-lock system
- Easy to use with drag and drop features
- Uses the master password and assigns separate or individual passwords to each file inside
Part 5. Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Encryption Software for Mac
I know you may have gotten confused on which program to use or will work best for you after reading through the different software you can choose from. There is plenty of encryption software for Mac; however, bear in mind that you need to consider quality and multi-function when it comes to having a “good buy”.
You need a program that provides an all-in-one solution that you can rely on when things go rough on your device. I recommend using FoneDog PowerMyMac for the following factors:
- Security– It the important concern above all. You have to be keen about how these programs work to secure your files and your Mac overall.
- Encryption– Based on the above-mentioned encryption data, there are different types of password-protection format. Choose the one that provides the safest and considers your files their topmost priority.
- Encryption Speed- Consider a program that can encrypt even your large files at the shortest period of time. We know that large files take a while to be fully encrypted so you need software that can minimize the time constraints.
- Software License- Although free programs are good such as the GNU Privacy Guard, an open source software, you need to consider that free software is not entirely best for your needs since everyone can download it. The same thing goes for paid programs; you have to be extra cautious on how much it costs and its corresponding features. To be sure, you can take advantage of their free-trial versions first so you can determine if it works for you or not.
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Part 6. Conclusions
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We care so much about data privacy and we understand how crucial it is to be well-protected. You cannot simply store important files in your Mac especially when you have multiple users or you plan to sell it later on.
We know how much you want to protect your files from prying eyes and suspicious people that is why we have compiled and researched the different programs that can help you secure them. The encryption software for Mac we listed has their own Pros and Cons where you can assess according to their features.
Simply choose a program that will password-protect your files, optimize your system, and provide you with complete troubleshooting toolkit. Do you have any other concerns regarding encryption software for Mac? Please write your concerns in the comments below!