Thursday, January 5, 2012

Insynch Google Docs and Encryption

Now that Insynch has launched we can see it does a really good job of allowing access to your Google Docs locally from your desktop.

Their web site does talk about encryption and who has the keys, and also says that if you want to be sure nobody can access your data you need to have your own keys.

This is a tutorial on how to do just that.

Firstly you need to install MacFuse and EncFS. You can follow the similar tutorial I did for Dropbox.

As always, a caveat: if you forget your password, you lose your data. ITS THAT SIMPLE.

  1. Download and install MacFuse (file system in user space) 
  2. Download and install encFS for Leopard (works great with Snow Leopard). If this link doesn't work try Google Code - look for "EncFS for Leopard" 
  3. run the command "encfs ~/Insync/user\ ~/Documents/GDocs_Secure
Accept the defaults, and put in your password. Remember,  if you forget your password, you lose your data.

The first part of this command is the location of your GDocs folder, and the second is where you get decrypted access. I use the defaults as mentioned above.

The command creates a folder (if required) in your Insync folder called "encfs", and its where the encrypted documents are be stored, and a symbolic link in your Documents folder, into which you put the documents you want to be encrypted. It also makes a mount point on the desktop, for easy access.

Here's some screen shots

  1. First you see the unencrypted file

  2. Then the encrypted versions

  3. Then what Google sees

Remember,  if you forget your password, you lose your data

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