As it is true with most things in life, there are plus and minuses for everything. You cannot expect to get everything for free, or expect anything you pay for to be perfect – nothing is perfect in this world. Consequently, when you expect to depend on computers for your daily tasks, you should also accept one its prominent flaw, which is the lack of privacy of personal documents and personal browsing history. Like it or not, whether its family members or guest at your home – someone will request that you let them use your PC – and it’s quite likely that the person using your PC will try to access personal media, such as photographs and videos. Consequently, it you have some embarrassing photographs or video clips that you forgot to hide from other users, it’s likely that the person using your PC will watch/view that video(s) or image(s) when you’re not around.
The majority of people who have personal media files in an unprotected state on their computer’s hard-drive never think twice about password protecting such files or folders. Furthermore, most who have attempted to password protect their “intimate media” quickly discovered that adding password protection on folders for free is not easy nor is it practical. However, one can still protect their personal media with some basic tricks which can fool the average person.
One of the oldest tricks to hiding secretive data is changing its file extension along with its name. For example, if its video clips you’re attempting to hide, then simply changing its extension to a different extension does the trick. However, many users don’t know how to change the file extension of a file. Changing a file’s extension is simple; all you have to do is right click on the file you want to hide from others, then click properties (located on the very bottom of the right-click menu), click the ‘change’ button located next to the ‘open with:’ option, then assign a different program to open that file. For instance if it’s a video you are attempting to hide from others, simply choose Microsoft word or excel as a default program that opens the video file – by changing the default software that plays the file, the video cannot be played. Next, simply right click on the video file and change its name to something totally unrelated, such as a ‘business presentation’ or ‘business report’.
However, if you have archived all your personal digital media onto a portable storage device, you should password protect it using software especially developed to secure USB drives and external hard-drives.
Keep in mind that free methods of protecting data have their limitations, and someone who is determined to see your personal images and videos will somehow figure out how to open them. Therefore, the most secure method of protecting data is to password protect it using third-party software.
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How to hide your data on your PC for free