Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Easy File Encryption on your Chromebook, Windows, or Macintosh Computer with miniLock

A few people have phobias about placing their personal files in online file storage services, even though the online services have proven to be more reliable than saving the same files on your own computer’s hard drive. Sadly, most of these users do not know how easy it is to add bulletproof security: simply encrypt your files before storing them ANYWHERE, online, on your computer’s hard drive, in a flashdrive, or anyplace else. Encryption is used by military and government agencies, by banks, by stock brokers, and, yes, even by drug dealers, to make sure nobody else can read the information. You can do the same. Encryption works well.

Your files saved on Google Drive, Spider Oak, and many other file storage services are encrypted by default. That makes those files very, very secure. However, when you you need to send a file to someone else in email or even by file transfer (FTP), you first download it from the online file storage service and then send that file to the user. That file you just sent is unencrypted.

Again, there is a simple solution: encrypt the file before sending it.

Windows and Macintosh users have a number of file encryption products to choose from, most of them are available free of charge. Chromebook users have had a more difficult time finding encryption products until now. Chromebook users (and Windows and Macintosh users alike) can now take advantage of a simple Chrome add-on called miniLock.

The recipient(s) of the encrypted file(s) also needs to use miniLock to decrypt the received information.

Installing miniLock is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome on your Chromebook and go to the miniLock page in the webstore or launch the Chrome web browser on your Window or Macintosh computer and go to
  2. Click ADD TO CHROME
  3. Click Add app

You are now ready to use miniLock. To encrypt or decrypt a file, all you have to do is drag the file into the miniLock window for the correct action to take place (an unencrypted file will be encrypted and an encrypted file will be decrypted).

When you drag an unencrypted file into the miniLock window, you will be asked who is allowed to open the file. You can add new miniLock IDs of other users. The file recipient(s) then use miniLock to decrypt the file. Simple.

miniLock is free and may be found at Chromebook users will find it a bit quicker by going to the Chromebook App Store although will also work.

Categories: Encryption

2 replies

  1. I learn so much from reading your blog. Thank you. I tried to use the PDF link at the top of the page for the mini loc article, but every time I click on it, adds pop up in the middle and the link goes dead. I have printed the file, but it is impossible to download a PDF.


    • I just tested the download of the PDF and it worked perfectly on my Mac. Click on PRINT & PDF. When the PDF version of the article appears on your screen, click on PDF. A new, small window will appear. Click on DOWNLOAD YOUR PDF.


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