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Our computers store a lot of private information about us, and others. For example, when someone sends us an email they expect that email to reach us only, and rarely consider that in doing so that email could very easily fall into the wrong hands. We could lose our computer on a trip or in a burglary, or hand it to a someone to use for a few minutes. That’s all it would take for information we once thought was private to become public. Your user account password offers zero protection to someone with even rudamentary computer knowledge.
There hasn’t been a way to protect application data like email and chat histories without encrypting all of the data on your computer, and this can severly impact the performance of your Mac. Until now, that is.
Now, Espionage is here to solve that problem for good.
Powerful and Intuitive
Espionage is much more than just a glorified interface to encrypted disk images. It leverages a powerful event system called iSpy that enables it to integrate seamlessly with the system, and gives it the power to encrypt application data.
Using Espionage, you simply encrypt individual folders. Once a folder is under Espionage’s protection, double-clicking on it will bring up a password prompt:
Enter the correct password and your files appear. Right-click on the encrypted folder to re-lock. It’s that simple, the way it should have been in the first place.
Fast and Simple Folder Access—Anywhere
All of your protected folders are quickly accessible from the menubar:
Protect Application Data
With Espionage, you can encrypt your email, your chat histories for your favorite instant messaging client, your web browsing history and cookies, and more. You get to choose what needs encryption and what doesn’t.
Now over 20 application templates make it super-simple to secure application data:
Espionage will encrypt all of the important data for the application and prevent it from running without your password, and it will automatically lock the application’s data when you quit it (or not, it’s your choice).
To see this in action, check out the screencast on Espionage’s homepage.
Peace of Mind With Built-in Backups
With Espionage, you no longer have to worry about what happens if your computer is stolen, or about your friend reading your email while they borrow your computer. Nor do you have to worry about backing up your encrypted data. Espionage has you covered with its built-in backups:
Encrypting and encrypting data is a taxing operation, and therefore encrypting your entire home folder (for example, using FileVault) can really bring down the performance of the system, and for laptops is a drain on the battery life.
Espionage saves you this performance penalty by letting you choose what gets encrypted, and usually this is a small fraction of the data on your drive. How much performance does it save you? We performed some benchmarks on filesystems with and without encryption to find out, and the results are staggering:
Espionage can save you well over three times the performance for file access. This speeds up application launch times, and all disk-intensive operations. The result is a much more responsive system, and most of the time there’s zero performance hit.
Laptop users can rejoice too, because now you can encrypt your files without having to worry about killing your battery life. During the benchmarks we sampled how idle the CPU was, and here are the results:
Reviews and User Comments
As it goes with all Mac related searches, there is always a terrific application for each purpose. This time it’s Espionage by The Tao Effect.
Smoking Apples Review (v2.0 beta)
More Information + Video
More information, plus a video demonstrating how to use Espionage to encrypt application data can be found at its website:
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
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