Computer Security | News

Laplink Releases Encryption Utility; Free for a Day

A company best known for its computer data transfer software has launched a utility for doing data encryption on PCs. Laplink Software, which develops a number of programs, including one also named Laplink for transferring files from one computer to another, has just released PC Lock, a sub-$30 application for encrypting laptop data. For the first 24 hours of its release, the program is free for download.

PC Lock uses a wizard to walks a user through initial installation, configuration, and encryption of a PC's data. After installation, the software encrypts files automatically in the background. Files are unencrypted when opened and re-encrypted when saved.

The new program uses 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). The user manages settings via a Web management console to specify preferences, change settings, and reset passwords. The console also provides a way for the user to lock data on a missing or stolen PC and remotely delete it. The management features are accessible from a Web-enabled device, including a smart phone.

Encrypted data is locked behind the PC Lock password, which is separate from the Windows login. According to the company, this approach has two benefits. If the user forgets the PC Lock password, he or she can still log into Windows and access the console to reset the PC Lock password; also, it adds another level of security to prevent cold boot hacks and pre-boot login problems.

"Encryption can be a confusing, difficult, and sometimes scary process," said Laplink CEO Thomas Koll. "By enabling cloud management, users have constant control over what is encrypted and how they want PC Lock to operate, eliminating the fear and confusion from the encryption process."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.