Hiding, locking, encrypting, protecting, and shredding sensitive data to keep them away from prying eyes is what GiliSoft File Lock Pro offers to do for you in a few simple steps. The app itself is protected by a secure password, and it offers you easy-to-use features to prevent unauthorized access to any of your files and folders, regardless of the disk (local or external) or the network they’re stored in.
The program’s main interface is simple enough to be of use for all kinds of users, though a bit repetitive and inconsistent in its design, which may lead to some degree of confusion. Options to hide and lock files are repeated across the main menu for local and external drives, while options regarding folders have been ignored completely, and you can only access them once you select a file-related option. As all buttons and windows look identical in all options, you may easily lose track of where you are at times.
Once you’ve found your way through the program’s interface, the actual file and folder hiding, locking, and protecting tasks are much simpler. As mentioned, the program requires you to set up a master password that not only will allow you to launch the app itself, but also to lock files in an external drive, for instance. Make sure you keep a copy of your password in a safe place and that you give the program an e-mail address where to send the password in case you forget it.
In general, hiding, locking, and protecting local files, folders, and even drives is as easy as to browse for them from the corresponding menu option. The items selected will be listed on the program’s main window and will change their status to locked, hidden, etc., according to your choice. You can select various files at a time, an option that is not available for folders. You can then unhide or unlock them just by checking them on the list and clicking on the corresponding button, which will update their status. Unlike locked and protected files and folders, hidden ones will disappear from view right away as if deleted – the only way of seeing them again is via the app’s own file manager. Locked files cannot be opened without authorization, while protected files can be opened and read but not modified in any way.
The program’s main functionality is complemented with 256-bit AES encryption (both as EXE and GFL files) and shredding capabilities. It can also protect network folders with a password to control access, let you know whenever a change has been made to an item in a monitored folder or disk, and to set up exclude lists with files and folders that will prevent you from locking system or other sensitive files inadvertently. The program has a self-protection mode that won’t let anyone uninstall it without the master password, notifying you via e-mail of any repeated attempts to use it without your authorization.
All in all, GiliSoft File Lock Pro is a highly useful tool. Its inconsistent interface design detracts a bit from its overall ease of use, but once you get used to the program’s layout you will appreciate the benefit of the high level of protection and the flexibility that this tool offers.