SHARE

Normally, the Zip files are password protected. However, the conventional Zip encryption system is very weak and might not be suitable if you are in need of maximum security. The Zip encryptions that come with the Operating Systems are not to be trusted either. To get the most out of

To get the most out of encryption, therefore, it is advisable to take advantage of AES-256 encryption. Although the 7z archives also support this kind of encryption, using AES-256 encryption, guarantees your files maximum security.

Comparing the two versions of zipping encryption

The encrypted archive

Ideally, there are two versions of Zipping encryption; the older Zip 2.0 and the newer AES encryption. The latter is relatively secure in comparison to Zipping 2.0 Legacy encryption. Most of the commonly used software including Operating Systems like Mac OS X and Windows come with Zipping support formats. However, these built-in Zip encryptions do not support the newer AES format. As such, those using these Operating Systems are never certain of the security of their Zip files.

Mac OS X and Windows come with Zipping support formats. However, these built-in Zip encryptions do not support the newer AES format. As such, those using these Operating Systems are never certain of the security of their Zip files.

The good news is that it is possible to have AES Zip Encryption with the Zip files. Ideally, you will need to use other archive formats like 7Z archive. The encryptions associated with 7z are very strong so you can always be certain of the security of your files. Compared to other file compression benchmarks, 7Z is considered the best regarding security and usability. As such, you can create a password encrypted 7z file on the common Operating Systems with the least worry of security threats.

Windows 7z Zip

7zip archive

Windows OS comes with a built-in Zip file creation feature. The previous version of Windows, Windows XP, even enabled one to encrypt these files through password protection. However, it used the conventional encryption logarithm, which does not ensure maximum safety of files. The 7zip encryption installable on the latest Window version offer advanced security. It’s free, so you wouldn’t have to strain to have it in place.

With this in place, all you need to do is select the files you need to archive from File Explorer or Windows Explorer. Upon selection, right click them and choose 7-Zip>Add to Archive. This latter option of Add to Archive gives you the privilege of setting a security password for the files.

7zip archive

The other easier option is opening a new 7-zip file directly and creating an archive from it. By default, the archive created by 7zip will be 7z. However, you have the choice of choosing Zip. When you make this choice, it is advisable to go for the advanced AES-256 Encryption as opposed to the less secure ZipCrypto option. Once you have created the archived file, you can enter your Password and Click the OK button to have your secure encrypted archive file.

By default, the archive created by 7zip will be 7z. However, you have the choice of choosing Zip. When you make this choice, it is advisable to go for the advanced AES-256 Encryption as opposed to the less secure ZipCrypto option. Once you have created the archived file, you can enter your Password and Click the OK button to have your secure encrypted archive file.

Mac OS X

Mac OS archive

Just like in Windows, it is possible to create a Zip file in Mac. However, you would not be able to encrypt the Zip file using the graphical user interface evident in Windows. For this default Zip creation feature, you do not need a third party software to be able to encrypt this zip file on Mac OS X. The only limitation is that the default zip file uses the weaker encryption system like in Windows XP. This password protection feature does not offer maximum protection for your files.

As such, you need an advanced a file compression app from a third party to be certain of the security of your Zipped files. Out of the multiple options available, Keka is preferable choice of file compression and decompression app for the Mac OS X. It is worth noting however that even this favourable app does not use the AES encryption by default. You will need the in-beta version of Keka and consequently, enable a hidden option for creating EAS encryption.

Mac OS encrypted archive

Alternatively, you can use the commonly available standard version and instead create a 7zip file. For this option, you only need to launch Keka and key in the password for your file. If you select Zip instead, you will need to ensure that the hidden option above is enabled before you create the archive. This will ensure that the file is encrypted the right way with maximum security for your data. From here, you can just drag and drop the selected files you would want to compress. Automatically, they will be compressed in 7z file, encrypted with the provided password. For future reference of these files, you will need this password, so it is important choosing an easily memorable one.

Linux

Linux archive

The default Archive Manager, often termed as File Roller, gives the provision of creating a password protected zip file. This is also observable with the other GNONE based desktop software. Just like in Mac OS X, this zip default creation uses the older and less secure file encryption system. Nevertheless, you can still use File Roller to create stronger and more secure encrypted 7z archives.

To make this possible, you will need to install the p7zip full package. Depending on the Linux distribution you are using, you can also look for p7zip. Taking Ubuntu Software Centre, for instance, you can easily do a search for the full p7zip package, then simply install it to your computer. Alternatively, you can open up the Terminal, and use the installation command termed; sudo apt-get install p7zip full command.

Linux encrypted archive

With this in place, creating an encrypted 7z file becomes an easy process. Go to the Archive Manager Window and select the files you would like to be archived from the file manager window. Right click them and go to Compress. The other alternative is to directly open the File Roller application and create a new archive from it. Remember to select the 7z archive format when the Compress window opens up. Consequently, select the header titled Other Options to create your password, which will be used to access the files later.

There are other multiple software programs, which can be used to create password protected Zip files. Whichever option you go for, ensure that secure password encryption is guaranteed. This way you will be able to distance yourself from the security threats that come along with the weaker Zip encryptions.

Was this article useful? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments and check out how to wipe sensitive data from any device and learn 7 cyber security tips for your family.

LEAVE A REPLY