You are here

privacy protection program idea

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Nathan MacInnes
Last seen: 16 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2007-01-17 20:30
privacy protection program idea

I've had an idea for a program which I'll have a go at doing once I have some spare time. The idea is to protect your important files from prying eyes if you lose your USB storage device. This requires a little explanation... bear with me.

On my USB device, I have a "docs" folder, an "apps" folder, a "music" folder, etc. The only file in the root of the drive is a text file, titled "Read me if found" which says "if found, please return to..." and it also says something like "if you are unable to return it for any reason, please email the contents of the 'docs' folder, no questions asked, to..." This means that if (read when) I lose my USB device, if someone is too lazy or greedy to return the actual drive, at least I might get my docs (which I will inevitably fail to back up) back.

Now, I had the idea of making this into an application disguised as a text document. Windows XP (by default) doesn't show file extensions, and if the icon is the default text document icon, most people would fall for it (including me, probably). From there, the possibilities are endless! Let's not get too carried away though. I figured this app could open a text document hidden in the directory structure as a disguise, and meanwhile, in the background, it 7-zips everything in the docs folder into a password protected archive, then deletes the original files. Now, the only remaining contents of the docs folder is one 7-zip file. This means that if someone malicious finds your docs, they won't be able to read them (unless they get suspicious, and know how to look at 'deleted' files), and if somebody good natured finds it, you'll get a friendly email with attachment, or even a returned USB device.

I'm well aware it's not foolproof (security through obscurity, yadda yadda), but I think it would work most of the time. I want to know what other people think, though.

Simeon's picture
Last seen: 9 years 6 months ago
Joined: 2006-09-25 15:15


"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

Last seen: 13 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2006-07-27 17:05
use TrueCrypt

If you want portable privacy you should use an application that actually provides some measure of security. e.g. TrueCrypt -

Bahamut's picture
Last seen: 12 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2006-04-07 08:44
How many times must it be

How many times must it be said?
TrueCrypt requires administrative access to mount a virtual drive!


Last seen: 13 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2006-07-27 17:05
I'm aware of that.

I'm aware of that. It may or may not be an issue for the original poster. My point was that he should use a real security program instead of reinventing a [broken] wheel. I mentioned TrueCrypt because that's what I use. If you know of another option (especially one that does not require admin rights) please mention it.

niolonra's picture
Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2006-11-30 19:42

I use It's not open source, but it is portable.

Ryan McCue
Ryan McCue's picture
Last seen: 14 years 6 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-06 21:27

You want me to have a go? Wink
Ryan McCue
Person 1: Oh my god. You will never believe what just happened.
Person 2: What?
Person 1: I can't remember, I've forgotten.

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

Topic locked