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protect files from unauthorized access using encryption

PeaZip is a free cross-platform archiver & file encryption utility that provides an unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX... free alternative to WinRar, WinZip and similar proprietary software.
- Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
- Open and extract ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files and more,
over 180 archive types supported
Features of PeaZip includes:
archives opener and extractor, batch creation and extraction of multiple archives at once, convert files, create self-extracting archives, split / join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, verify file integrity with checksum and hash functions, export job definition as script, schedule backup tasks.

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Protect files from deletion, data loss, unauthorized access



protect files from accidental deletion with backup



Backup files on regular basis to prevent data loss


how to avoid data loss

In order to roll back unwanted changes or deletion best protection is to keep a fresh security copy of the data being used, even this feature is provided in some forms by most content creation and editing programs making a full copy of the work data is always a good idea - on demand (i.e. before committing significant changes to the system, or to user's files) or, better, scheduled on a regular basis.

prevent file from being deleted

PeaZip can spare disk usage (and substantially improve download/upload speed of backup copies) creating backup with use of strong compression algorithms - as a role of thumb ZIP / GZip compression can save 50% of disk space applied on mixed-type input data, Bzip2 and 7Z compression provides better result at cost of more computing power/time.
Deduplication of non-unique files before kackup jobs prevents excessive disk space usage for storing redundant data.

A very common way to programmatically have the data secured by a backup copy is to schedule this process when the machine is not planned to be used intensively (i.e. during night hours).
While specific backup programs can feature built-in advanced functions for backup & restore operations (i.e. differential backup which is the process of saving only a copy of the data actually changed since the last backup task, or low level disk copy routines to physically clone the hard disk, more common in software specifically meant for cloning disk images), one of the advantages of PeaZip is being able to save file compression operations (as well as file conversion or extraction operations) from GUI to a script file, in order to re-use the job definition with any system scheduler, or in third party programs and scripts: Add > Console > Save job definition creates a plain text file containing the task definition, saved by default in a "Scripts" subfolder in PeaZip's configuration path, which is unique for each user.


Avoid file theft and unauthorized access protecting data with encryption


PeaZip features strong encryption protocols to protect information secrecy.
Most commonly supported standards are WinZip AES256 AE encryption for ZIP files, and 7-Zip AES256 encryption for 7Z files, which also provides (optional) encryption of table of content of the archive, allowing to keep private also the names of the files and folders inside the archive until the correct password or passphrase is provided - avoiding unwanted leak of information if non legitimate, unauthorized user, not knowing the password, try to open and list the archive table of content (in case the bery name of files and folders may leak private, sensible information).

how to avoid unauthorized access to files

For all the supported compression formats, PeaZip provides also optional two factor authentication, in which a file is used as key to improve the security of password based encryption, preventing risks of password-guessing by brute forcing, dictionary attacks, or social engineering. Unless the attacker can get the secret key file element, decryption of the data will not be possible.

prevent files from being copied

The software also provides an utility to create random keyfiles and random passwords, sampling entropy from user's system, and an encrypted password manager to help safely handling multiple passwords, to be used in PeaZip or in other applications, websites and services - also, use of random passwords avoid risks of password-guessing by unauthorized users with dictionary attacks or social engineering.


Securely delete data and sanitize supports after intended lifecycle


As good practice, to avoid data theft, never let leak on de-commissioned supports any leftover data after end of intended lifecycle of that information.
PeaZip provides integrate utility to wipe files and folders which are intended to be premanently destoryed, while system's standard file deletion procedures simply de-references data in the filesystem letting the actual information intact on the support, where appropriate data recovery software can be used by an attacker to recover data intended to be erased.
Same function also allows to sanitize entire partitions in order to clean free (logical) disk space from remanants of data previously removed by unsecure deletion procedures - standard disk formatting procedures, similarily to standard deletion functions, by default does not take care to securely delete actual data on physical support, favouring speed over security.

how to avoid data theft

When a memory unit (HDD, SSD, usb-key...) get de-commissioned, it is always a good practice to permanently erase it before, either files and free space, so un-authorized users cannot take advantage of abandoned media supports.


Verify data integrity to detect modification


To verify integrity of files, PeaZip supports multiple error detection algorithms ranging from fast checksums to cryptographically strong hashes: Adler32, CRC family (CRC16/24/32/64), eDonkey/eMule, MD4, MD5, Ripemd160, SHA families (SHA-1; SHA-2 SHA224/256/384/512), and Whirlpool512, in order to detect file corruption or forgery that may occour if the data comes from unreliable sources, such as disks undergoing failures or unreliable network connections.
File check may be automatic, as most archiving format supported by PeaZip stores advanced error detection information in the archive, or manual.
In example, if the hash of a downloaded file is published by the author of the file it is possible to re-calculate it with PeaZip to assure it matches with original one, meaning the originally intended file was actually downloaded without errors and without being replaced or corrupted by an attacker in any stage of the communication.

prevent files from being modified

While filesystems and communication protocols implement error detection and error correction algorithms, usually speed is the primary design goal, menaning more computing intensive controls are generally not an option.
Detecting files corruption or forgery (purposely crafted modifications of data to exploit weakness of some simple error detection mechanisms) as soon as possible avoids to work on, or backup, inconsistent data, and prevent wasting disk space for storing unwanted, unreadable files.

file data integrity check


Share, synchronize, attach, and upload files


PeaZip helps safely sharing files with other people and synchronize data with other computers/devices/services, consolidating multiple composite input files in a single output archive file so data is more handy to manage for any purpose and with any method (as email, ftp or other protocols such as torrents or p2p). Moreover, supporting high compression algorithms, output file is usually significantly smaller than the sum of sizes of input files, saving bandwidth and time both for uploading and downloading the data package.

protect files from accidental deletion

The integrated archive conversion function ensure the ability to change the type of an existing archive, extracting and effectively re-compressing its content in the desired file format, in order to, in example, transform old archives (as backup files) into a more up to date format either for improved compression or better security, or to be able to share data with users being able to read only a subset of the archive formats supported by this software.

protect files from accidental modification

If a maximum allowed size is mandatory, in example when attaching a file to a mail, file spanning feature can (in a single pass) create multiple split email attachments (file spanned in multiple .001, .002, etc parts), each one smaller than the desired limit size.

PeaZip file manager / file explorer automatically detects local paths containing Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) shared files.
Cloud based synchronization platforms allows users to store data on a remote location that is mutually accessible by different devices owned by the user, like multiple PCs, smartphones, tablets/phablets, gadgets etc, basically any device capable to connect to Internet and run the file synchronization software, which for this reason is usually multi-platform and can run on Microsoft Windows, Linux / Google Android or ChromeOS, and Apple MacOSX / iOS.
PeaZip file explorer shows available shared directories in the navigation area (on the left) of file browser, so shared files are quickly accessible - and also in compression/conversion and extraction screens, to allow quick selecting sync folders as target for archiving and extraction tasks.
This is especially useful when sharing archive files with mobile or ultramobile devices and gadgets not able to run a full featured file archiver (i.e. because some archive formats or encryption protocols are not supported, or because not enough powerful for convenient use of strongest compression algorithms, especially on very large archives, or because no viable freeware choices are available, or because locked for some policies), but fully capable to handle the content of the archive once it is extracted.

protect data from virus and malware

Last but not least, archive file content can be scanned for virus / malware before starting actual extraction of the content, read more about in-archive malware scanning with PeaZip.

Read more about backupWikipedia data compression comparative, cryptographycryptography, checksum and hash algorithm CRCcyclic redundancy check, MD5Message Digest algorithm, SHANIST FIPS compliant hash, file spanningspan mail attachment


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PASSWORD RECOVERY

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QUANTUM COMPUTING DECRYPTION

FAQ > Security > How to protect files with backup and encryption

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