Windows 8.1 might have enhanced its built-in security features compared to its predecessors, but you might still need third-party apps that are optimized to help you secure your sensitive data to get the job done right. To that end, we will be listing 10 Windows 8.1 security apps that are primed to keep your images, messages, email and data in general, safe from prying eyes.
There are apps that help you encrypt data for transfer, password generators, hash generators, deletion software (that really wipe out your deleted data, making them exit no more) and more options to help you secure your data online.
NOTE: Download links provided in this article opens the app’s page on the online Windows Store. If you’re using Windows 8.1, then it also opens the app’s page in the Windows Store application on your system.
Recommended Reading: 20 Useful Microsoft Windows 8.1 Tips & Tricks
DirectPass is a password manager from the security company, Trend Micro. It’s not just a password manager though, there are many more tools in the same package – password generator, password rating tool, form filler, secure browser, secure notes tool, anti-keylogger and cloud sync tool. It’s even available for other popular platforms: Mac OS X, iOS and Android.
Aside from storing and managing passwords, the password rating tool informs you about unsafe passwords. The secure browser offers a security-enhanced browser for sensitive financial websites to keep you safe from phishing and other attempts to intercept your financial transaction.
Cloud sync tool backs up and synchronizes all your passwords, notes and form-filling information to the cloud and makes them available on your other devices.
Most cloud storage providers have opted to not provide file or disk encryption options for your sensitive files. Boxcryptor is a silent, behind-the-wall file encryptor you can use to overcome that disadvantage for your cloud storage. Boxcryptor provides fast and easy encryption, and its unlimited version is available for all major cloud storage providers, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box.net and many others.
Its free version only supports Dropbox but there’s also a “Boxcryptor Classic” which supports Dropbox and Skydrive. Moreover, it’s also available for other platforms: Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.
Keeper is an innovative password manager software, with a multi-layered security approach and that’s why, you can simply trust this software for protecting your logins and passwords. It can handle all of the login forms because of its user-interactive password capture mechanism. Your login data gets organized in folders and can also store an attached note.
Auto-Logout feature automatically logs you out after a specified time so that no person can access your sensitive information while you’re not around. Self-Destruct feature automatically destructs (deletes) the offline password database after 5 failed login attempts. Keeper offers a free service for one offline device. Its premium version offers more features such as cloud backup and sync, data sharing option, web access and many others.
4. Private Hub
Private Hub is your private secrets keeper, where you can store all sorts of super-sensitive data. It is an encryption program which encrypts your personal data and protects them from prying eyes. It keeps your data secure and safe from unauthorized access.
It has a simple interface and its opening screen displays the list of things which can help you lock up: photos, videos, passwords, accounts, notes and files on your system. It is opened using a master password. Without it, nobody – not even you – can access the locked data. Even if someone get his hands on the encrypted data, he won’t be able to view or open the data without the correct password.
5. My Personal Crypto Pad
My Personal Crypto Pad implements the OpenPGP data encryption standard into a metro-styled application. It’s developed to solve the two basic problems of computer security: data integrity and data security. Data integrity means verifying that the data is actually sent by the sender and the received data is the original data; data security means providing only authorized access to the data.
My Personal Crypto Pad enables people to check data integrity using digital signatures and secure their data using encryption. You need to create keys and then use those keys to sign or encrypt data and files. It can be tricky at first but the app can improve your online security once you get the hang of it.
6. Secret Tidings
Secret Tidings is a data security tool which implements steganography to protect your data. Steganography – which means the art of hiding – is a mechanism to secure data by hiding it inside pictures. The idea behind this mechanism is simple – hide the sensitive data inside not-so-sensitive data and thus prevent it being seen. Secret Tidings can be used to create unassuming pictures which you can lock (and unlock) messages and images in, using a password.
The generated picture can then be easily shared or sent via email to a recipient and the recipient can view or unlock the sensitive information inside it using the correct password. This creates two levels of security – one, obscuring the fact that there is a sensitive data being hidden, and two, password-locking the access to it.
HashMe lets you create hashes using more than a dozen hash functions. It’s very hard to check the integrity of a file that is transferred over the Internet. Integrity here refers to whether the received file is exactly the same as the sent file or if it had been altered halfway through the transfer by a cracker. The best method to check for integrity is by use of hashes.
HashMe supports creating hashes for text as well as files. Some of the popular hash functions supported are MD5, SHA1, SHA256, RIPEMD, Whirlpool and Tiger. HashMe can be used to check integrity of files sent over email or shared through online storages. It can also be used to check the integrity of downloaded files where the file’s hash is given.
TXTcrypt, as its name implies, is a text encryptor. It serves a simple function: to work as an encryption tool which lets you send secret messages to a recipient. It has a pretty simple and straight-forward interface and you can use it to send secure messages via SMS, email or instant messaging services.
TXTcrypt can be used to encrypt textual data and messages with a password. Then the encrypted message can be sent to anyone and nobody else can see the real message even when using any known snooping method. The person with the password will be the only one capable of deciphering the encrypted message and viewing the original, plain message.
Shredder8 is a secure-delete software, packaged as a metro-styled application. It solves the problem of deleting old yet sensitive data. Any digital data, if simply (or insecurely) deleted, can be restored from the disk using a data restoration/retrieval software.
Shredder8 can be used to shred sensitive files or create free space on your storage disk with a thorough data wipe. It supports many secure-delete algorithms such as U.S. DoD, Russian GOST, British HMG IS5 and German BSI VSITR.
10. Advanced Password Generator
Advanced Password Generator solves the problem of creating strong passwords. No matter how strong the security measures your system has, if it has a weak password, it is an easy entry for people who intend to breach the system and your data enclosure.
However, creating strong, random passwords that you can remember for a long period of time is also hard and time-consuming. Use Advanced Password Generator to generate strong passwords for you. It’s a quick and easy-to-use program. Otherwise you can opt for these other password generators and managers.
Have we missed any of your favorite security app for Windows 8.1? Let us know at the comments section.