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How to: Password protect a Dropbox folder

How to password protect a Dropbox folder

If you’re using Dropbox to store sensitive information, you probably want to know how to password protect a Dropbox folder. With multiple ways to access Dropbox—from mobile, desktop, and web—there are a number of things to consider to properly password protect a Dropbox folder.

Why you can’t adequately password protect a Dropbox folder

With the application on mobile devices, you can password protect the Dropbox folder by default. But such protections don’t exist for the Dropbox application on your computer. Instead, to help password protect a Dropbox folder, you should set up a password for your computer that’s prompted after login or sleep, so files remain private even if you step away from your machine.

Additionally, you should enable two-step verification to better password protect a Dropbox folder. Two-step verification helps protect your Dropbox account from unauthorized access. Essentially, two-step verification means that your password alone isn’t sufficient to log in. You also need to verify your identity with a code, which is typically sent to your mobile device. Once you sign in to Dropbox, you’ll be required to enter the code sent to your phone or a mobile authenticator app.

A quick word about passwords: A while back, there was some confusion about whether Dropbox had been hacked. It wasn’t, but the truth is, it didn’t need to be, because people had re-used the same weak password for Dropbox that they’d used for other services, which had been compromised. So hackers exploited this and got access to a number of users’ account. Be sure to use a strong password that you don’t use for other services.

Many websites have had leaks of email addresses and password combinations, which malicious actors then take and try on other websites. You can check if your account passwords have been leaked online, but it’s a better idea to use unique passwords, and even change them frequently, especially for sites like Dropbox that are storing important information. To change your password, navigate to the Security tab on the Dropbox dashboard.

Password protect a Dropbox folder alternative: Remote wipe

If you’re on a Dropbox for Business or Pro account, Dropbox offers a remote wipe feature that removes the Dropbox folder from a device the next time it comes online. This approach isn’t foolproof, however: The device will stop syncing when you choose remote wipe, but it can only attempt to delete the Dropbox folder when the device is online and the application is running—which poses a bit of a risk. Sookasa takes remote wipe a step further by revoking encryption keys to devices (or, for that matter, people) with the click of a button. With Sookasa’s device block feature, it doesn’t matter how much data is on a device—the device can’t be used to decrypt it, rendering it useless.

Password protect a Dropbox folder alternative: File link passwords

One of Dropbox’s newer premium features offers a bit of a workaround to one aspect of the problem of protecting sensitive files. Essentially, Dropbox lets users set a password for any shared link that they create. This helps to ensure that only collaborators with permission access your sensitive shared content. It can get a bit messy, because each member of a shared folder can create multiple unique shared links to its contents, with several different passwords flying around.

Sookasa’s approach to sending file links is similar in terms of workflow (mostly to make it easier on you), but it permits you to create secure links to share encrypted files. It doesn’t require a password, but it does verify the recipient’s identity by checking their email address. You can set an expiration period, after which your collaborator wouldn’t be able to use the link to access the encrypted content.

Sookasa as an alternative to Dropbox folder passwords

Password protect a Dropbox folder alternative: Sookasa and file-level encryption

You’re probably thinking: Generic passwords seem woefully insufficient for protecting my life’s most important files! We tend to agree. It’s part of what prompted us to create Sookasa. Sookasa requires that you re-enter your password after a period of inactivity, so you’re basically able to password protect a Dropbox folder—or at least your most sensitive Dropbox content—via Sookasa. Our application will automatically log you off when you’ve been inactive or gone offline to prevent unauthorized access. Dropbox encrypts data on its servers and in transit, but that leaves information utterly exposed on devices. With Sookasa’s robust, file-level encryption, passwords are basically built in to every file, because only authorized users and devices can access it. Best of all, you can set granular permissions in a way that actually reflects how you work and collaborate.

Want to learn more about Sookasa and how it can help password protect a Dropbox folder? Request a demo today.