Geek Squeaks (#2015-31) FEATURING — Android 6.0 Marshmallow — and MORE GREAT STUFF

October 12, 2015

Android 6.0 Marshmallow – If you currently have an Android supported device (smartphone or tablet) there is a possibility that you may be entitled (for FREE) to the newest Android OS called Marshmallow. I currently have a Nexus 5 smartphone, which is a Google based phone, and I received the upgrade this week. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S (tablet), I will have to do some research to determine when and if this device will receive the upgrade. You may have to do the same thing. Again, the OS upgrade is called Marshmallow.


After receiving my upgrade, I had minimal knowledge as to what the new features were. I went on the hunt and found what I was looking for (to educate myself) at the official Android Marshmallow site (at There you will find the complete features list by clicking on “All Features” at the bottom of the page. If you are wondering, Google names their operating systems using a confectionery theme. Below is a complete listing:

Cupcake (1.5) – Donut (1.6) – Eclair (2.0–2.1) – Froyo (2.2–2.2.3) – Gingerbread (2.3–2.3.7) – Honeycomb (3.0–3.2.6)[a] – Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0–4.0.4) – Jelly Bean (4.1–4.3.1) – KitKat (4.4–4.4.4, 4.4W–4.4W.2) – Lollipop (5.0–5.1.1) – Marshmallow (6.0)


If You Are A “LastPass” Subscriber You May Want To Read This – LastPass is an online password manager where your passwords are stored in an online encrypted vault. They have been bought out by LogMeIn (a company specializing in remote desktop management). If you visit the LastPass blog you can read more about this announcement and the various comments that indicate that people are not happy with this move. This is another reason why I do not store my passwords online and instead use local software to manage my passwords. If curious of what I use to manage my passwords, CLICK HERE..



How To Hide A File Inside A Picture – I have to give credit to BetaNews for showcasing this little app called Free File Camouflage that is easy to use that gives you the ability to hide files inside a typical jpeg image. What attracts me to this software is that it is small in size (portable); thus, a nice addition to my tech toolbox.


  • The software can be used with the main interface or via the explorer “send to” context menu (the first time you only need to select a directory with some images).
  • All the files are encrypted using AES and hidden inside an image.
  • What happens if someone tries to open a camouflaged image? Well… nothing! He will only see an image!
  • This software is also useful when you want to send an exe via email. Currently many email providers (or companies proxy) don’t allow this.
  • Recently also GMail has disabled the support for attaching a zip file (even if protected with password) with an exe in a draft message.
  • With Free File Camouflage you can send via email whatever you want!


Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder – This is a unique method to mount a phone holder in your vehicle that is made by Anker. There are many variations of this method available by different companies; however, at the time of this blog post, the Anker CD Slot Car Mount Phone Holder was listed at being under $10…  

Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder


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FREE Software To Password Protect And Secure The Files You Store Online

February 17, 2015

I will be the first to admit that I am skeptical of storing sensitive files on the internet and what files I do store (or backup) online are encrypted with AES256-based encryption using a small file archive utility program called PeaZip. This added level of security gives me peace of mind knowing that my files cannot be compromised in the event my online account disappears (or the account in itself is compromised).


After spending a considerable amount of time looking for software to carry out the encryption of my files (that I store online), I did not go for a standalone encryption utility; instead, I ended up using the file archive utility, called PeaZip (screenshots).

What I like about PeaZip is that the focus is on security where multiple strong encryption password protected archive files standards are supported, such as the AES256-based encryption standard. If you really want to make your files secure you also have option of using PeaZip’s two factor authentication where a password and keyfile are both required in order to access the archive.

Integrated into PeaZip are utilities to create random keyfiles and passwords; AND, this I really likePeaZip has a built in utility that supports secure file deletion to erase tracks of unwanted data.

If you are looking for an easy way to secure files on your computer and/or secure files you store online, I would definitely give PeaZip a try (which is available as a Windows install and portable app):

  • PeaZip is a free cross-platform file archiver that provides an unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX…
  • Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
  • Open and extract over 150 archive types: ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files and more…
  • Features of PeaZip includes extract, create and convert multiple archives at once, create self-extracting archives, split/join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, find duplicate files, calculate hashes, export job definition as script.


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Storing and Opening Password Protected PDF Files Online Using Google Drive and SkyDrive

February 14, 2013

If you are concerned about security and storing personal document type files online, you may want to consider converting the document file to the PDF format, then password protecting the PDF file. Password protection of online files is one of the most requested features out there.

What I stumbled across, through experimentation, is that Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive can handle and open password protected PDF files, using their built-in (online) viewers. When you go to open a password protected PDF file using either of these services, you will be prompted for the password, and the PDF file will be opened online, without downloading, using either of these services.


This gives you an additional level of security protection when storing or sharing files using either of these services’ PLUS, the convenience of keeping the file online (and not downloading it). These were the only two file storage (and sharing) services I tested, where this will work; however, there may be other services, as well, that can handle or open a password protected PDF file. I also found that you need to be using a modern web browser, as well.

I know you are probably wondering, how do I convert my file to the Adobe PDF format and how do I password protect it?  The easiest way to do this is to download the FREE Nitro PDF Reader, which has a built in a PDF creator (or printer).

After you have downloaded and installed the Nitro PDF Reader, you will notice that when you go to print a document, you will see that a new printer is on the list called “Nitro PDF Creator (Reader)”.  If you want to convert the document to an Adobe PDF file, simply select the printer labeled “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader”). Basically anything that can be printed on your computer to a regular printer can be printed to “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader)”, including image files, spreadsheets, Powerpoint slides, etc…


Using Nitro PDF Reader you also have the ability to password protect  any PDF file you desire to create. When you go to print on your computer, the print dialog box typically appears. When it appears, select the “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader)”, then click on and select “Preferences”.


Once you select preferences, the “Printing Preferences” dialog box appears. You will then notice a tab labeled “PDF Security”.  Click on that tab, click on “Require a password to open the document”, enter the desired password, then click on the “OK” button, then click on “Print” to generate (and create) a password protected PDF version of the document.


I know this may seem like a lot of steps, but really it is a cakewalk.  After you have created the password protected PDF file, then simply upload the file to either Google Drive or SkyDrive. Your file can now be stored and opened online, with the additional security of password protection.


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A Safe and Easy Way to Keep Your Data Under Lock and Key.

October 3, 2011

I have to question the safety of my file data when I save that data to an online file service. I know that these online services tell us that they would never do anything to compromise our data and that our data is safe in their hands. If you are like me, when it comes to any sensitive files that I store online, I will take a few moments to encrypt those sensitive files to practically eliminate any possibility of those files from ever being compromised.  This gives me some sense of satisfaction that my files are safe; plus, I am taking advantage of backing up those files off site (away from my main computer).

The encryption utility that I use, that can be installed on your PC or used as a portable application is called EncryptOnClick.


EncryptOnClick is like hiring your own highly experienced data security guard who ensures the files you want to keep safe and out of view from others, stay that way.

I think what sells me on this application is its’ simplicity, that it uses a very secure encryption and decryption method (256-bit AES encryption), that it can encrypt multiple files in a batch, that it has file compression built in to reduce the file size during the encryption, that I can carry it around on my flash drive and that it is FREE!


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A Drag and Drop Encryption Program

February 9, 2010

There are numerous file (and folder) encryption programs that are available to protect sensitive files on your computer; however, most people do not understand their purpose.  If you are carrying files around on a flash drive that are potentially sensitive in nature, OR maintaining sensitive files on a PC that is accessible by many people, OR storing sensitive files on the internet;  then it is important to protect the content of those files from prying eyes. One way of doing that is through file encryption.  Encryption software is designed to make your files unreadable (or accessible) to other people.  The encryption process usually prompts you to create a key (or password) prior to the software making the file(s) unreadable.  As a result, in order to  make the file readable again (through a process called decryption) you must enter the password that you originally provided.


One of my favorite encryption programs, that is FREE, small in file size (< 200 KB), and is portable;  is Drag ‘n Crypt ULTRA.  The “cool factor” to this program is that when you launch the program, a small target (or drop zone) appears on your desktop (see below).


To encrypt a file (or folder), you simply drag the file (or folder) to the target (or drop zone) and drop it.  Drag ‘n Crypt Ultra will go to work automatically, prompt you for a password, and then create the encrypted file. As an added level of security, the source file is erased to prevent someone from restoring the file using data recovery software (which is especially easy on a flash drive).


To decrypt the file you simply drag the file you originally encrypted to the target (or drop zone), enter your password, and the file will be restored to its’ original condition.


If you right mouse click on the target (or drop zone), you also have the following options:


My (2)-two favorite options is “create file association” and “Use Context Menu”.  With the “file association” option activated you can open your encrypted files by simply mouse clicking on the file(s) and if you have the “context menu” option activated you can perform your file encryption operations through the Windows Explorer context menu, which is typically activated by a right mouse click on a file (or folder).

Overall, Drag ‘n Crypt is fast, offers decent protection ( Twofish coding algorithm) and does not require installation (can be carried and used on your flash drive). I especially use this program to protect files on my flash drive and to protect files that I store online.


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