Hide Files With My Lockbox

Your computer is like your room: it’s yours, but other people can still see inside of it. That’s why we have hiding places in our rooms, where only we can find our hidden treasure. Sometimes your computer also has things you’d like to keep hidden, and it’s a hassle trying to figure out how to hide it.

That’s where My Lockbox comes in. My Lockbox is a lot more than a safe your folders, it also hides them from others entirely. Let’s find out if My Lockbox is the right software for your needs!

Getting Started

My Lockbox can be downloaded directly from the company website here. It is only available in Windows: 2003, XP, Vista & 7. My Lockbox doesn’t have Mac OS support, or any mention of it coming soon. Installing the software is quite simple. The 3.2 MB setup files download within seconds and the program occupies 4.7 MB on your hard drive. Setup also takes a few seconds, but before you breeze through the setup by clicking “next”, watch out for the the bundleware ‘AVG Secure Search’ that is automatically selected.

Launching the Software

Immediately after launch, a screen pops up asking for a password. A little confusing at first for what this password is for and how it’ll be used, but this will be the password that you use to hide your folders.

My Lockbox does not adhere to Windows design standards, using its own frame borders and color scheme.

Using My Lockbox

The huge banner is an eye-sore on the main dialog box.

You are then given the option to set a password-protected folder immediately or wait until later. If you decided to wait, you can always click “Set” and assign a new folder. If you use the free version, it only allows one folder to be locked at a time, but one secret safe is more than enough for most people. After you’ve assigned the folder, it will show the status as either “unlocked” or “locked”. If it’s unlocked, then press the ‘lock’ button on the left and it will cause the entire folder to disappear from its original location. The folder will no longer be visible in any search result and will be completely hidden. If the program is still running at this time, it can be unlocked without a password; however, if you decide to close the program and open it up again later, you’ll be asked to enter the password that you assigned.

Before and After

Although it hides your folder, My Lockbox warns that certain folders may still be revealed by Windows Desktop Search. For example, when locking the Economics folder was on my desktop, a warning prompt popped up saying:

“Folder: C:\Users\Username\Desktop\Economics is indexed by Windows Desktop Search and could be revealed with Windows Search facility! Do you want to protect this folder anyways?”

This is a good warning for someone’s who needs privacy, as the software warns it will not completely hide files from certain locations (Desktop, My Documents, My Pictures, and other indexed locations). It also provides a warning for important system files, including the C: Drive and Windows Folder. These folders cannot be hidden using this program, a good measure taken by the designer to prevent any damage to your computer.

Advanced Options

My Lockbox comes with a few more options to add a personal touch to the software. There are a variety of a skin tones available to change what the software will look like. The free version comes with 19 different ones, and a few look very similar to each other. The application can also be customized to lock your desired folders every time you put the screen down on your laptop, or put your computer on standby. This prevents you from forgetting to lock your hidden files. Finally, customized hotkeys are provided to quickly lock or unlock your folder on any given screen. You can also open up the application or toggle its protection status using this feature as well.

The hotkeys provide easy access to My Lockbox

The hotkeys are handy, but they don’t close your any open documents from the folder. For example, with an open Word Document, locking the folder that containts it would not close the Word Document – it will only make the folder disappear. The document is still completely editable.

Another option is to add trusted programs. This feature allows certain programs to still have access to your folder, even if you’ve locked it. If you want a folder to be accessible from the “open” dialog in an editor, but not visible to the eye through the default user interface, this is a useful feature. For example, setting Microsoft Word as a trusted program allows you to open documents through the “open file” dialog, while hiding the folder from Windows Explorer.

How Hidden Are the Files?

I tried to hide a folder in a different location (a place that was not indexed) using My Lockbox then searching for it. It was invisible. Closing the My Lockbox program from Task Manager’s Processes does not reveal the folder either.  Finally, I tried to uninstall the program completely to uncover the folder, but it asked for the password before allowing the uninstallation. If the folder is in a location that wasn’t indexed by Windows search, it is quite secure.

Wrap Up

The pro version costs $24.95 USD. It removes the annoying yellow banner, allows you to lock more than one folder at a time, and gives you access to customer support. Overall, the features of this program are very simple. You can lock one folder at a time, set up a password and hide that folder. Only people with shared computers who want to hide certain information will find this handy. Otherwise, users can simply put a password on their laptop/computer. For those who need true security and privacy, it is important to note that My Lockbox only hides the folder, it does not encrypt the data within. As a result, tech-savvy users might find a way through the system. However, if you’re looking for a simple program that does what it says and uses little memory, this is probably the right program for you.

 


Summary

My Lockbox enables you to hide, lock and password protect almost any folder on your computer. You can use My Lockbox to hide your private data from prying eyes - your files will be not accessible both from local and remote users.

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