At TechShow, everyone seemed pretty impressed with Viivo, which can encrypt files and store them in the four most-popular cloud services: Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Drive. Viivo is free for personal use, and you only have to pay a pretty-reasonable $4.99/month if you want mobile access.

Viivo is really simple to use. Once you download and install the software, you get a Viivo folder in the user directory on your computer and a Viivo-Encrypted folder in your Dropbox/Box/OneDrive/Drive account. Anything you put in that folder is encrypted and synced up through the cloud.

If you try to access the encrypted files by going in through your Dropbox folder, you will see a lot of files with the .viivo extension, and you won’t be able to read any of them. If you ever wondered what an encrypted file looks like if you try to open it, here’s one of mine:

(Those readable text strings aren’t in the actual file I encrypted with Viivo; they must be related to the encrypted file’s meta data.) You can only read your encrypted files if you start in the Viivo folder on your computer or in the Viivo apps.

Viivo’s security looks rock-solid. Your data is encrypted before it leaves your computer, and you keep the encryption keys. From the FAQ:

When you create your Viivo account, public and private keys are generated to secure your private data and files. Because your account is created on your device, the chances of your data being prone to attack and exploitation are next to none. We have designed our system so that any account information that is stored in our servers is nearly impossible to retrieve by anyone other than you.

(Emphasis added.) Viivo also has a more extensive security fact sheet, and if you want lawyer-specific information, you can get that, too. At TechShow, I also learned that it is even eligible for HIPAA compliance.

The only downside to all this security is that you cannot access your files through a web browser. I think that is a fair tradeoff for the impressive security Viivo is offering, but it might get in your way from time to time. You can still share encrypted files with other Viivo users, though.

To be frank, I’m sold. I’m moving a bunch of directories into Viivo as I write this.

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