Help Desk

Computing & Information Services

Windows File Encryption

Encrypting important files is a good way to protect your privacy from prying eyes. If your computer is ever lost, stolen, or even just left unattended your files will be protected. We recommend using BCArchive to create encrypted archives for storing sensitive files.

BCArchive will create what amounts to a file-vault on your computer that is encrypted and can be protected by a password or a public-private key. Here are some instructions for creating these archives, if you need further information please contact for help.

Installing BCArchive

  1. Download BCArchive

    Click here to download the BCArchive installer (from the manufacturer's website).

  2. Run the Installer

    • Double-click on the installer to begin running the setup program. Click Next to proceed through the installation.
    • Read the license agreement carefully. Check the "I accept the Agreement" box and click Next.
    • You will then be presented with the licensing screen. Because you are using this program for personal archives, non-commercially, you can select the License, embbeded to the Setup program option.


    • Once you click Start the program will be installed!

Creating an Encrypted Archive

  1. Open BCArchive

    Go to the Start menu and select All Programs. Scroll until you see the BCArchive 1.0 folder, and open BCArchive by double-clicking it. Make sure not to select BC Key Manager unless you are an advanced user and want to use Public-Private key encryption.

  2. Create a new Encrypted Archive

    From the File menu, choose New. You'll be prompted to enter an Archive name and Password. Choose a password you will remember! If you forget the password, you will not be able to access your encrypted files and CIS will not be able to recover them. Make note of the location of the encrypted archive on your computer. In this example the name is 'encrypted-disk', and it is saved to the Desktop (this is the default location).  To save to the Desktop in Vista, click the smallest rectangle (circled below) and select the Desktop.


  3. You'll be instructed to move your mouse around the screen, to generate "a random seed buffer". When you're done, click on the OK button.


  4. At this point, your encrypted archive is created, and ready to use.

  5. Customize your Encrypted Archive

    To add any document to your encrypted archive, simply drag it onto the open BCArchive window. BCArchive will immediately make an encrypted copy of that document.

    Once you are done adding documents to your archive, you can close the BCArchive window.

  6. Accessing your Encrypted Archive

    To access your encrypted documents, double-click on the 'encrypted-disk.bca' archive that you created on your Desktop. You'll be prompted for your password:

    Once you see that your files have been encrypted in the archive, you should securely delete all the unencrypted copies that are on your computer.

  7. Changing your Encrypted Files

    To make changes to your encrypted files, simply double-click them inside the BCArchive window. Make whatever changes you wish, then save the document. BCArchive will prompt you to make sure that you want to update the encrypted version in the archive. Read the warnings that BCArchive presents, and click OK.

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