A closer look at Steganos Privacy Suite

Steganos Privacy Suite (v.12) is a suite offering most Steganos privacy and encryption products bundled up together: Safe, Portable Safe, Crypt & Hide, Password Manager, Private Favorites, E-Mail Encryption, Trace Destructor and Shredder.

Welcome screen:

A simple click on any of the icons on the left part of the screen will take you to the tool you need.

Since I have previously presented Steganos Safe, Portable Safe and Shredder on this site, I won’t be going into details about their functioning – I will just mention new features of the tools (if there are any).

Safe and Personal Safe

The only new feature in the Safe tool is the option of hiding (attaching) a Safe in a video, audio or executable file without affecting its form or function. This way, you can still run those files, but the Safe will have the additional bonus of being hidden in plain sight. Unfortunately, forensic tools can detect its existence, but the Safe can’t be open without the right password. Also, you can hide a Safe in one of those files only if it doesn’t exceed 3 GB in size.

Crypt & Hide

Used for encrypting and hiding files and folders:

With one click of a mouse, you can add or remove, save, hide or extract files. To save and hide them, you will need to provide a password to restrict access to it and to open it again. Original files must be deleted by hand.

Password Manager

To use it, you must first create a user profile and secure it with a password. Then, you can enter/edit bank account/credit card and general information:

When you close the database, it is automatically encrypted. If you are a Firefox user, the software will automatically add a toolbar on your browser that will help you access and use your data, passwords and Private Favorites.

Private Favorites

As with the Password Manager, you must first create a user profile. This tool helps you manage Internet addresses and make them invisible to third parties that might be using your computer.

E-Mail Encryption

To use this tool, an e-mail program must be associated with it – the association is created in the Default Programs control panel. You can encrypt entire e-mails as components or only part of the text you entered in the apposite field. The sent file is self-decrypting, but you need to provide the password for the recipient to be able to do that.

Use it to delete all trace of your computer use: browser, Windows, Windows-Settings and Office traces:

You can also create a “Traceless Drive”:

With it, instead of deleting traces you leave on the computer, you won’t be leaving any in the first place. For example, just launch the preinstalled Firefox browser on a traceless drive before you surf the web – launching the drive will start the browser. Traceless Drives are created on a RAM disk, so all the data is gone as soon as the disc is closed or the computer is shut down.

Little has changed since the previous version I tested. The Device Shredder is now called the Complete Shredder, and as before, the Space Shredder, the Task Scheduler and the (now) Complete Shredder can be used only if you have administrative rights on your machine.

All in all, Steganos Privacy Suite is very user friendly. Everything is well explained, and the software asks for additional confirmation of actions – which can be of great use of novices who are still unsure of their steps. Luckily for more experienced users, these extra pop-up windows can be deactivated. For all of us who are a little paranoid over privacy, this suite is a godsend.

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