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DataGuard

Type of Program:Encryption Software
Supported Platforms:WIN95 WIN NT
Company/Authors Name: Secure Link Services Ltd. (SLS)
Version:1.5.3.
Price:US$ 49.00 (download version), US$ 69.00 (packaged version)
Installed Size:1.2Mb

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The United States has legislation which prevents the export or sale of encryption protection of more than 40 bit size. This means is that, outside the USA, data stored on computers is vulnerable to theft. DataGuard is a Swiss-made product exempt from the American laws, and uses a solid, unbreakable algorithm of between 128 and 160 bits.
 
With typical Swiss engineered quality, DataGuard is a beautifully presented and very efficient security system. Encrypting data is traditionally a complex process but the Help files in DataGuard are outstanding in their clarity and ease of use. Designed for every size of enterprise from single user to multiple workgroups, DataGuard allows different levels of security to be allocated to information.
 
The care that has gone into DataGuard can be illustrated by the Group principle used. If a document or database has been encrypted and only one person has the rights to decrypt it, the data is normally lost for eternity. With DataGuard it is possible to set up a Group of people who can also decrypt the data - but only together, the whole group has to enter their codes to unlock the information. (For some reason this reminded me of the self-destruct sequence on the StarShip Enterprise!). This clever idea provides the solution to the perennial problem of lost keys, without endangering the data.
 
Other elegant design features include a shut-down routine that will automatically encrypt a list of files at the end of the working day, a choice of two kinds of algorithm depending on the size of file and options added to the right mouse click to encrypt or wipe a file in Explorer view.
 
DataGuard will wipe out a file - this not a simple delete, it deletes and then writes over the space formerly occupied by the file with random data, you can even specify how many times you want it to be overwritten in the configuration options. When DataGuard deletes a file - it is deleted for ever!
 
DataGuard is a powerful, elegant and user-friendly system for the complete protection of one of the most valuable assets a company has - information.
 

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Reviewed by Sue Abbott (sue@amaze.demon.co.uk)

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