C-Command Software Forum

Encrypting individual records

Hi, I am new to EagleFiler. I have just begun to scan my immense quantity of paper and are just starting to organize my records in EagleFiler. I also just purchased the Fujitsu ScanSnap. So, I should be all set. A quick question regarding records that I’d like to keep private: While I know that encrypting an entire library can be done, is there any reason that I cannot use the Adobe Acrobat password-protect option on each individual pdf that I want secured? When I try this from within EagleFiler, it seems to function fine, in that double-clicking the record leads to a request for the password and then the pdf opens in Acrobat. Also, I can store tags with the file. What is the negative of this method? I would prefer to keep all my files in one library and just password-protect/encrypt those few that need to be hidden, if there is no significant disadvantage here. Thanks in advance for your comments and thanks, Mr. Tsai, for a robust and well-developed product.

I recommend using an encrypted library rather than encrypting individual files. Some of the negatives are:

  • EagleFiler (and Spotlight) cannot search the contents of individual encrypted files.
  • Acrobat’s encryption is less secure.
  • With individual encrypted files, the unencrypted data will be saved to disk when the file is created, and you must take care to securely wipe it after encrypting the file. With an encrypted library, unencrypted data never touches the disk.

Thanks for the rapid reply. Then, if I understand you, since my scanned items (which is the only thing that I am placing in EagleFiler, for the moment) are not searchable and the items I am intending to “hide” are only stored locally (on my own home computer and not on a “cloud” server) and do not require high levels of security (such as I would want for medical records, for example), then the disadvantages are not that great. There may be no support for my feeling, but I feel that when it comes to items that I am scanning and then discarding the original, I feel more comfortable keeping most items unencrypted and only encrypting on an individual file-by-file basis rather than using a fully-encrypted library. I don’t know whether and under what circumstances an encrypted disk can be corrupted, but that is my concern. If I start placing personal records on an internet server, then I will certainly reconsider the need for a higher level of security. Thanks.

Fair enough.

I suppose another factor, which may not matter to you, is that you’re locking yourself into using Adobe Acrobat, whereas regular PDF files can be read in Preview, Skim, PDFpen, Automator, and a variety of other apps (including on iOS).

The .sparsebundle format is very reliable. It has been around (and improved) since Mac OS X 10.5, and Apple has used it with Time Machine, etc. Encrypting the whole library is slightly more risky in that damage to the hard drive could potentially affect the entire contents of the library rather than one particular file. However, in my view the proper response is to make regular backups and to periodically let EagleFiler verify the library for you to ensure that you can recover from any damage ASAP. This is good practice regardless of what file formats or encryption you are using.

I don’t suppose that there’s an iOS program that will open sparsebundle files are there? A means of sharing encrypted libraries with iOS would be ideal…

I don’t think so.