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Author Topic: Simple version of a folder lock utility that would require a password for access  (Read 2921 times)

questorfla

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This would need to work on Windows 10 x64 and doesn't need to provide encryption.  This is a case where I need a simple way to put 12 to 15 documents in a folder and lock it such that it would ask for a password to access the files. 

In searching, I have located a number of these ranging from "Folder Locker" to a few that appear to not even be around anymore.  Some have many additional features included but in this case, that would be worse rather than better.  As long as I can Trust the Lock

Now the conditions:   I need it to be something where I could lock the folders on my system and post them for download on a website by a group of people.  The group would be downloading several normal folders of files as well but a few of them would be marked as needing a password and only a few of the group would know that password.   

Some of the "Folder Lock" software I have found appears to be limited to locking folders only on my system which would not help.  Nor do I want to hide the folder names, they need to be visible to all but just locked t those without the password.  I need the group to be able to download all the folders but certain folders need to be locked with a password.  But not necessarily encrypted as I have had problems in the past with encrypted files not working properly if they are not still located on the system where they were originally encrypted.

This also has to be easy to use because the people who access them are not tech geniuses.  A simple "enter the password" and once they enter the correct one, it should unlock and allow that user to open all the documents inside without further ado. As easy as possible.  Like an electronic version of a safety deposit box. The folder would contain a mixed bag of document types, some pdf, some Word, etc.  And no none wants to lock the files one at a time.

The last condition is that it needs to be a program I can run on my system to Lock the folder and the recipient should have no problem opening it on theirs once they download it preferably without needing to install anything at their end.

Some versions of 7-Zip might work if it can be made to create self-extracting archives that only require the correct password to be entered to access the contents.  I figure some form of a self-extracting archive is going to be my best bet but there might be other software out there that would work better. 

I would appreciate any information from those who had maybe had the same need at one point and found a working solution.  Thanks

In closing, I hope that all the members of Donation Coders Forum and their Families and friends are doing Ok and staying well during these trying times.

Stoic Joker

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Now the conditions:   I need it to be something where I could lock the folders on my system and post them for download on a website by a group of people.  The group would be downloading several normal folders of files as well but a few of them would be marked as needing a password and only a few of the group would know that password.

Why not just put them in a passworded zip? That would make their downloading of the folders easier as well.

questorfla

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Thanks, Stoic and that is sort of what I am looking for as I said.    A self-extracting zip. 
I was asking for advice on which one worked the best as I have found several.   The biggest problem (of course) is the people I have to do this for.  They want something they can't have in the manner they want it to work.  I am currently trying to convince them that an SFX is the closest I can come to Easy to use, requires NO technical knowledge, just click, enter the password and it does all the work.  End of the problem for the recipient
 

c.gingerich

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My app Fast Protect may work for you. I don't really have an active page for it but here is an old one. The links are all dead, sorry but if you are interested let me know and I'll give you a DL link.

https://starpunch.bl...?zx=266f7ef67000af9e

wraith808

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That link is protected

questorfla

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Thanks, Cgingerich  I tried to go there but it said I needed an invitation?

questorfla

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I just need something that is secure from casual attempts to open and read but VERY simple to use for both the person making the protected folder as well as the person that would get the password to open it. 

questorfla

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You are correct wraith, it is blocked except for invited users?  I hope c.gingerich notices our comments.  It might work if it is something really simple that works like a lockbox,  whatever I toss into the folder is locked unless a password is entered.  Probably too simple for today's modern world.  This is just to prevent everybody from seeing specific files and the users don't want o use Word to password them which is what they Should do.  I tried one called "folder lock" it got high ratings and would definitely do the job but it has WAY too many other features and options in it. The people that want to lock the few files would never figure it out.
Just a simple way to lock a folder by password or else a way to create a self-extracting archive that just required a password to extract  That way nobody has to spend a lot of time trying to figure it out.

Shades

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How do people access these files? By browser?
Ah yes, I read it now, browser access.

Do the people need to store files?
If not it can actually be rather simple. Which web-server software do you run?
Enable WebDAV for Apache 2.x.
Or on IIS 7 and higher.
Or on IIS 6.

(yes, you can disregard any remark regarding microstrategy, that is just a company who was friendly enough to write clear instructions for the most simple way to start using WebDAV (your own company's cloud drive))

Each user can have his/her own folder, with their own password and read/write privileges where necessary. At the back end, you can automatize the distribution of files in these user folders by using Powershell and/or batch scripts. Or do the user file distribution manually, whichever you prefer.

questorfla

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Thanks, Shades
I will definitely look at that
the site is an Apache one and I need to review the option you presented
it probably would be fine
we did have a perfectly good Document manager site but too many people wanted it 'easier' meaning no tracking of anything
that left it with no way to manage anything either.  Originally each user had a login and password so could be identified and access controlled
now the whole site has a single login and password so there is no way to manage who can see what.  As far as the site can tell there IS only one user :(

Lintalist

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Just a thought: why not a cloud provider? (Note just random search results)

Katie

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It seems I need an invitation to access that.

questorfla

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Lintalist:, Excellent question and one we did look at.  Actually we did try using one for exactly that.  But the problem is we are already set up with our own website and are trying to accomplish this within the bounds of the site we have.  Shades has offered a suggestion that I am going into right now ad it might fil the bill quite nicely.
One annoying thing was that MS OneDrive would have worked very well for what we wanted,  But: Business One Drive Won't    Without taking a lot of time to explain, I can just tell you that the two products are not the same and the things that would have made it perfect for our needs are only available on Personal One Drive.  MS made it clear they would not be happy if we tried using Personal Onedrive for business purposes even if we paid for it.  I contacted them to ask. 

c.gingerich

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Odd. Sorry about that. Here is a video on how it works.

https://www.youtube..../watch?v=OVz_puc-620

Thanks, Cgingerich  I tried to go there but it said I needed an invitation?


Contro

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My app Fast Protect may work for you. I don't really have an active page for it but here is an old one. The links are all dead, sorry but if you are interested let me know and I'll give you a DL link.

https://starpunch.bl...?zx=266f7ef67000af9e
oWWWW. I am not invited to the link....
 :-* :P

x16wda

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Self extracting archive is the way to go. If you compress the file/files/folder with 7-zip, just check the box that says Create SFX Archive. It will create an exe, when it runs it asks where to extract the files (defaults to wherever the exe file is), then asks for the password. Easy peasy. The hardest part will be getting the password to the people in a secure way (not just emailing it).  ;D
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

KodeZwerg

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I liked Shades post, but I am unsure about the real meaning so here's what I should do:
Extend your site with sFTP.
Doing that you can have multiple login accounts for different allowed things (ie: which folders are accessible, read/write permissions etc....)
sorry bad english and Delphi are my hobby ;)
politeness is not one of my strengths in writing, just because it sounds rough doesn't mean that I mean it rough.

Shades

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WebDAV is functionality, built into the HTTP protocol, to create a web-drive. This web drive is in essence the same as GoogleDrive or OneDrive or DropBox etc. etc.
All web-server support this. Have used it myself in the most basic form with the Apache web-server software and that worked well. Added a subdomain to my DNS server behind my static IP and could make a folder structure on the webserver, giving different users access to 1 of those folders each. Password protect it etc.

Does not require you to fiddle with opening up ports on a firewall. The amount of available resources on the web-server you kit out with WebDAV will make the experience. Now if you have a web-server running (either locally in your own network and/or on your registered domain on the internet, I would suggest to install NextCloud. This is a really nice and extensive way to add loads and loads of extra functionality to your server running WebDAV. It is open source and free to install/use. It has even clients for Android and iOS, so you can store/retrieve photos and files from and to your phone(s)/tablet(s), just like GoogleDrive, OneDrive, etc.

Extras being added to your WebDAV server are: (video)chat, OnlyOffice (akin Office 365 online), calendars, internet radio, extensive user access control, file and/or folder sharing, drive quotas and so much more. And you provide all of that on a server you control and/or host yourself. All of the Cloud's goodness, but on your own server.

Whether you see it as an advantage or not is up to you, but you must use a Linux-based web-server, if you plan to deploy NextCloud as the back-end on your WebDAV server. For myself and many here at this forum, that won't be any issue at all. It runs just fine in a Virtual Machine or old computer you still had lying around in a corner. Any Linux distribution will do. Personally, I use Ubuntu Server LTS v20.04 on an old computer based on the Core Duo (dual core) Intel processor with a whopping 2 GByte of RAM. Which is great for a family of 4 (active) persons or less. If you have something with a bit more resources available, it won't be a problem to support 8 persons with NextCloud.

superboyac

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WebDAV is functionality, built into the HTTP protocol, to create a web-drive. This web drive is in essence the same as GoogleDrive or OneDrive or DropBox etc. etc.
All web-server support this. Have used it myself in the most basic form with the Apache web-server software and that worked well. Added a subdomain to my DNS server behind my static IP and could make a folder structure on the webserver, giving different users access to 1 of those folders each. Password protect it etc.

Does not require you to fiddle with opening up ports on a firewall. The amount of available resources on the web-server you kit out with WebDAV will make the experience. Now if you have a web-server running (either locally in your own network and/or on your registered domain on the internet, I would suggest to install NextCloud. This is a really nice and extensive way to add loads and loads of extra functionality to your server running WebDAV. It is open source and free to install/use. It has even clients for Android and iOS, so you can store/retrieve photos and files from and to your phone(s)/tablet(s), just like GoogleDrive, OneDrive, etc.

Extras being added to your WebDAV server are: (video)chat, OnlyOffice (akin Office 365 online), calendars, internet radio, extensive user access control, file and/or folder sharing, drive quotas and so much more. And you provide all of that on a server you control and/or host yourself. All of the Cloud's goodness, but on your own server.

Whether you see it as an advantage or not is up to you, but you must use a Linux-based web-server, if you plan to deploy NextCloud as the back-end on your WebDAV server. For myself and many here at this forum, that won't be any issue at all. It runs just fine in a Virtual Machine or old computer you still had lying around in a corner. Any Linux distribution will do. Personally, I use Ubuntu Server LTS v20.04 on an old computer based on the Core Duo (dual core) Intel processor with a whopping 2 GByte of RAM. Which is great for a family of 4 (active) persons or less. If you have something with a bit more resources available, it won't be a problem to support 8 persons with NextCloud.
ive been having a devil of a time setting up nextcloud to work in a windows domain.  I even purchased a prebuilt hyperv machine to make it easier...still having a hard time.  ill get it soon.   spent several hours so far.

Shades

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Incl. downloading the Linux distro, the NextCloud software, creating the VM and installing NextCloud...that should take about an hour on a Linux computer. Finding out what it does, how to implement the features it has by default, what additions you want and configuring, that took me longer.

Think I spent an hour on getting my spare computer ready for Nextcloud. Usually that process is smoother in a VM than bare metal.
A Windows domain should be able to add a Linux computer into its ranks.

superboyac

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Incl. downloading the Linux distro, the NextCloud software, creating the VM and installing NextCloud...that should take about an hour on a Linux computer. Finding out what it does, how to implement the features it has by default, what additions you want and configuring, that took me longer.

Think I spent an hour on getting my spare computer ready for Nextcloud. Usually that process is smoother in a VM than bare metal.
A Windows domain should be able to add a Linux computer into its ranks.
Nice link, man!  Excellent.  Very easy to follow.

Deozaan

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Incl. downloading the Linux distro, the NextCloud software, creating the VM and installing NextCloud...that should take about an hour on a Linux computer. Finding out what it does, how to implement the features it has by default, what additions you want and configuring, that took me longer.

Think I spent an hour on getting my spare computer ready for Nextcloud. Usually that process is smoother in a VM than bare metal.

Are you saying you should put a Linux VM on a Linux host? Or are you saying put a Linux VM on a Windows host? In what way(s) does the process go more smoothly in a VM than on bare metal?

Shades

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At work I have a dedicated Linux box for NextCloud. But relatively often need a new Linux based VM's there. And those are pretty quick to setup from scratch.

Even on my old Windows computer at home, it is still pretty fast to setup a Linux VM. Booting and shutting down VMs goes faster than bare metal. Even when those are stored on a spinning rust drive. I have to add that I always create the virtual drive for the VM in full at the beginning, instead of dynamically allocate storage space when the virtual drive needs it. That results in large continuous blocks of data, something the NTFS filesystem from the host computer handles better, making the VM run smoother/nippier. Also, I am comfortable running Linux without a GUI. No overhead from a GUI makes a Linux VM pretty fast to install and afterwards booting the VM takes about 10 to 15 seconds. Within the Ubuntu Server edition installation procedure, you will be asked the purpose for the Linux VM you are about to create. Choose 'LAMPP' (it installs the Apache webserver, PHP and MySQL. And those are the requirements for NextCloud. 

The NextCloud installation works just fine without a GUI and when done, you'll have a web-interface for managing NextCloud. If the VM is needed for longer periods, then I check the DHCP server on the router to see the current network lease of the new VM and add it to the appropriate list of computers (computers are allocated different amounts of bandwidth, depending on the list it is added to). By now, a VM doesn't even have to negotiate network settings anymore during boot, no matter on which LAN computer it resides. Shaves off 0.5 to 1 second of (re)booting and as a bonus its IP address remains the same throughout the whole LAN.

At this point the VM only needs to start, NextCloud will be available through a browser and/or smartphone app (if you installed that on your phone). The people behind NextCloud even made client software for Windows and Mac. But I prefer the simplicity of a small, portable tool (Windows-only) called: CarotDAV. But drag-'n'-drop files on the web-interface works just as well.

You will need to do extra things if you wish the Linux VM to become part of a Windows AD environment, as SuperboyAC is doing. But you can skip that if you just run a standard Windows Work group in your network, then you can use any computer/tablet/phone in your LAN to continue configuring NextCloud using the web-interface. While the included functionality of NextCloud will already be pleasant surprise, you will lose a lot more time configuring and expanding it to your liking than on creating the VM, downloading and installation of Linux and installing NextCloud itself.

Now, I made my instance publicly available, so I can use it for work stuff. But that is not a necessity for home use. A nice to have? Sure, but you'll need a static IP address on your home address or at your host (if your NextCloud instance runs at a cloud provider).

Iirc, you can set the phone app to transfer/sync data from phone to NextCloud only when connected with WiFi, which is what most people do when they bring their phone/tablet into their home. Data synchronization should not be a problem in whatever kind of setup your NextCloud instance runs.


Follow the installation instructions of NextCloud on their website and you are