Welcome to the second part of this two-part article about using SafeHouse Explorer to securely store and transport your important, private files.
The first part of this article covered installing and running SafeHouse Explorer and creating your first SafeHouse volume.
In this part, we discuss creating a portable version of SafeHouse Explorer you can carry around with you on a USB flash drive, opening a volume, adding files and folders to a volume, opening files stored in a volume, closing a volume, securely deleting files copied from a volume to a local hard disk, and creating a self-extracting volume.
Make sure you have downloaded SafeHouse Explorer and followed the steps in the first part of this article prior to proceeding with this part.
Create a Portable Version of SafeHouse Explorer
To put a portable version of SafeHouse Explorer on a USB flash drive, select Copy Files to Memory Stick from the Tools menu.
The Copy Files to Memory Stick dialog box displays. By default, the Copy Program File check box is selected. If you want to also copy the volume you just created to your USB flash drive, select the Copy Volume check box. Use the … (Browse) button to select your volume. Select the drive letter for your USB flash drive from the Drive drop-down list in the Destination Drive or Memory Stick box. The name of your USB flash drive displays along with the total size and the amount of space free on the drive.
NOTE: You cannot copy volumes that are open to a USB flash drive. If the volume is open, a message displays in red at the bottom of the Copy Files to Memory Stick dialog box and the volume will not copy to the USB flash drive. Click Cancel, close the volume, and then select Copy Files to Memory Stick from the Tools menu again.
Now that your volume is closed, you can click Start on the Copy Files to Memory Stick dialog box to copy the program file and your volume file to your USB flash drive.
The progress of the copy operation displays at the bottom of the dialog box.
When a message displays indicating that the copy operation finished successfully, click Close.
The program file (SafeHouseExplorer.exe) and the volume file (SampleVolume.sdsk) are copied to your USB flash drive.
Open a Volume
To open a volume in SafeHouse Explorer, double-click on the SafeHouseExplorer.exe file to open the program and click Open Volume.
On the Open SafeHouse Volume dialog box, navigate to the drive/directory where you saved your volume file, select it, and click Open.
Enter the password you applied to the volume in the Password edit box and press Enter or click Open.
Add Files and Folders to a Volume
The volume opens and is listed in the Folders pane on the SafeHouse Explorer window. To add folders and files to your volume, drag-and-drop them onto the right pane.
You can also add a file or folder by copying it in Windows Explorer, on the Desktop, or elsewhere, and pasting it into the volume. To paste the file or folder into your volume, right-click in the right pane and select Paste from the popup menu. You’ll notice that you can also create folders in your volume so you can organize your files, just like you do in Windows Explorer.
Open Files Stored in a Volume
You can open files in your volume directly from within the volume or by copying them to the local hard drive first and then opening them. To open a file directly, right-click on the file in the right pane of the SafeHouse Explorer window and select Open.
NOTE: You can also select Open With and choose a program, just like you would in Windows Explorer.
The following Security Notice displays indicating that a temporary, read-only copy of your file is created on the C: drive of the local computer to allow access by Windows and other applications. This file is securely deleted and wiped clean when you exit SafeHouse Explorer. If you don’t want to see this dialog box every time you open a file within SafeHouse Explorer, select the Do not show again check box. Click Continue to continue opening the file. If you decide you don’t want to open the file this way, click Cancel.
If you would rather access the file from the local hard disk, right-click on the file in SafeHouse Explorer and select Copy from the popup menu. Paste it to a location on the hard drive using a program like Windows Explorer and then open it normally.
Close a Volume
To close an open SafeHouse volume, click Close Volume.
Securely Delete Files Copied to a Local Hard Drive
If you copy files/folders out of SafeHouse Explorer to edit them and then copy the revised files back into the volume, it is smart to securely delete the files/folders from the local hard disk. SafeHouse Explorer provides a tool to do that. To securely delete a file or an entire folder, select Secure Delete from the File menu in SafeHouse Explorer.
On the Select File(s) To Secure Delete dialog box, navigate to the location where you copied the files/folders from your volume. Select the file(s) you want to delete and click Select. You can select multiple files using the Shift and Ctrl keys, in the same way you do in Windows Explorer.
NOTE: You can also select one or more folders to delete. All files and subfolders within that folder will be securely deleted.
The Confirm Folder Delete displays to make sure you really want to delete the files/folders. Click Yes if you do.
NOTE: Remember once these files are deleted, they cannot be recovered. Make sure you have copied the revised files back into your volume before securely deleting them from the local hard disk.
The deletion progress displays on a dialog box.
Create a Self-Extracting Volume
You can also convert your volume into a self-extracting volume. This is useful if you want to send files securely to someone through email. When sending a normal SafeHouse volume, you would have to also send the SafeHouseExplorer.exe file so the recipient can open the volume. If you create a self-extracting volume, all you have to send if the volume. And, of course, separately, securely relay the password to the recipient, as well.
NOTE: However do take note if you do create a self executable EXE you will not be able to normally interact with your files as if you were using a volume.
To create a self-extracting volume, select Make Self-Extracting Volume from the Tools menu.
NOTE: The volume you want to convert to a self-extracting volume must be closed.
The Make Self-Extracting Volume dialog box displays. Use the … (Browse) button to the right of the Existing Volume to Copy edit box to select the volume to be converted. Use the … (Browse) button to the right of the Self-Extracting EXE File to Create edit box to specify the location and filename for the self-extracting volume file. Click Start.
NOTE: If the volume you are converting is still open, the following error displays. Click OK. You are returned to the Make Self-Extracting Volume dialog box. Click Cancel to close it, close the volume, and then select Make Self-Extracting Volume from the Tools menu again.
Once you have clicked Start to create the self-extracting volume, the creation progress displays at the bottom of the dialog box.
When the self-extracting volume has been created, a message displays at the bottom of the dialog box. Click Close.
The self-extracting (.exe) file with the SafeHouse icon is available in Windows Explorer. Double-click the file and enter your password to access its contents.
You can also convert a self-extracting file back to a normal SafeHouse (.sdsk) file using the Extract Volume from EXE option on the Tools menu.
In this part, we covered creating a portable version of SafeHouse Explorer you can carry around with you on a USB flash drive, opening a volume, adding files and folders to a volume, opening files stored in a volume, closing a volume, securely deleting files copied from a volume to a local hard disk, and creating a self-extracting volume.
The first part of this article discussed installing and running SafeHouse Explorer and creating your first SafeHouse volume.
Note that the trimmed-down version of SafeHouse Explorer built into self-extracting volumes does not have the Secure Delete feature. If you are going to be accessing your SafeHouse volume on public machines, we recommend you use the portable version of SafeHouse Explorer with your SafeHouse volume so you can securely delete any files you temporarily copy from your volume to the public machine.