Ever thought it might be worth encrypting your Dropbox, but were held back because it’s just too much work? I know I was. But not anymore – welcome to this 5 step guide to a secure Dropbox. It only takes a few minutes of work – compile time excluded.
This guide will use encfs, which uses business proof AES or Blowfish algorithms. Most importantly, it has a major benefit over other available encryption mechanisms – it operates on blocks. It doesn’t hide an entire encrypted volume in a single file. This approach doesn’t work well with Dropbox, because once the user changes only one file the whole Dropbox will be synchronized.
- Install MacFuse.
- Install encfs. If you have Homebrew, this is as easy as:
$ sudo brew install encfs
- Delete your files from Dropbox. After deleting them, make sure to go to the webapp, hit ‘Show Deleted Files’ and delete each file/folder permanently.
- Now comes the fun part. Set up your encrypted Dropbox:
$ encfs ~/DropboxEncrypted ~/Dropbox
Enter ‘y’ to create the folder DropboxEncrypted, enter ‘p’ for Paranoia mode and chose a password.
- You’re done. ~/Dropbox will show your files just fine, but when you take a look at them on the webapp, you will see them encrypted.
After a reboot, the userspace mount of ~/Dropbox will be lost. Repeat step 4 to mount it again. If you ever want to unmount yourself, just umount it. This process can be automated with encfsvault.
Update for Lion users:
Don’t use MacFuse, it’s obsolete. Just install fuse4x and fuse4x-kext, then encfs – all via homebrew.