Encrypting Files for Added Security - 05 May 2000

Mea Culpa: 64MB not 64KB
Okay, I blew it. In last week's column, I reported that two users said they were getting acceptable results running Windows 2000 Professional on notebook PCs with only 64KB of RAM. Of course, that should have said 64MB. I apologize for the error!

Not Mea Culpa: Services
On the other hand, a number of people have written asking for a list of services to turn off to make Win2K Pro work acceptably on 64MB systems. If I could provide such a list, I would—but it will vary from user to user, depending on how you've configured your system. You must experiment to find out which services you can do without. If readers want to pass along which services they turn off, I'd be delighted to get the information—and will share it. I'll also take a look at this myself—but for right now, there's no magic list of redundant services. Sorry!

If you're running NTFS on your Win2K system, you can give yourself extra security by encrypting files. To do so, open My Computer, drill down to the file or folder you want to encrypt, and right-click it to bring up a menu. Select Properties and click Advanced... on the Properties dialog box. You'll find an "Encrypt contents to secure data" check-box at the bottom of the dialog box. Check this box and click OK. Click OK again to dismiss the Properties dialog. You must confirm that you do want to encrypt files—and whether you want to do so only for the selected folder or for all subfolders and files. There's also a command line function: Type CIPHER /? from a Win2K command prompt for details.

I've run some tests (look for details in an upcoming column in Windows 2000 Magazine) and was pleasantly surprised to find that using encryption doesn't exact much of a performance hit—less than 10 percent. That's a small price to pay to be sure your data really is safe—especially if you deal with proprietary information.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.