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I love Evernote, but it's preventing me from putting in sensitive content. For example, I can't keep a personal journal notebook, because other people (i.e. girlfriend, family members, etc.) could one

Hi, I love evernote, but i'd also love to have the feature of a simple password protection on notebooks so i can lock semi-sensitive stuff like a diary and fiction writing. I'm not asking for full on

I'm OK with my notebook being gone if I forget my encryption key... that is fine I need the ability to fully encrypt notebooks as well.... I realize you can encrypt pieces of individual notes but tha

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It's amazing that more than one and a half year after this idea was suggested it still hasn't been implemented yet. Really, the ability to protect a note or a notebook with a password is trivially implemented and would definitely attract the people who don't use Evernote for the lack of such a feature.

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18 hours ago, sophieschoice said:

Thanks for sharing this.  It's a great read, and I recommend that it be read by anyone concerned at all about the security of your information in Evernote.

Unfortunately it does not address our current concern about the lack of encryption of our notes on the EN Cloud servers.

Some key points:

Quote
Evernote Defends User Data Security and Transparency
Posted by Chris O’Neill, CEO on 03 Mar 2016
 
We created Evernote to be your digital brain. Shortly after we set that as our goal, we wrote our
3 Laws of Data Protection to codify these principles:
  1. Your Data is Yours
  2. Your Data is Protected
  3. Your Data is Portable
Our 3 Laws inform virtually every decision we make, and we believe they are worth fighting for.
. . .
That’s why Evernote is standing with Apple and other technology companies to protect the security of user data. In the interest of promoting trust and transparency, Evernote is signing on as an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) on a legal brief to be filed today in support of Apple’s motion to vacate a court order compelling it to assist the FBI in bypassing security features to access an encrypted iPhone. Also joining the brief are Amazon.com, Box, Cisco Systems, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest Labs, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Yahoo.
. . .
We are committed to transparency about our responses to law enforcement data demands, and we believe our users should receive notice when government agencies request their data. We also disclose the number of requests for user data we receive each year through our Transparency Report.
. . .
When the government asks us for access to user data, we are going to make sure those requests are valid and narrowly tailored. We do this to defend your rights.

 

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There's an interesting distinction being made between data located on the physical device and data in the cloud. It's the exact same stuff in many cases, but it is treated completely differently. Both Apple and Evernote want to do everything possible to protect the security of the physical device. However, when it comes to the cloud, neither one wants to offer encryption. We don't think twice about locking the doors of our houses, which arguably contain much less "valuable" stuff than the cloud, but we can't get that kind of security for the cloud. People keep their sensitive financial documents in safes or locked filing cabinets, but we are encouraged to put that stuff into the cloud (Evernote had a blog post on that yesterday), where anyone in the world could (potentially) gain access. I wonder why that is. This attitude is pervasive among software developers -- it isn't just Evernote or Apple who have made this artificial distinction between data on the phone and on the servers.

Undeniably, the most egregious incidents of unauthorized access have been to data on the cloud -- sometimes millions of people at a time are put at risk by a single hack. Frankly speaking, the phone is not the weak point in the security equation. I like what I hear Apple saying about encryption and I like to hear Apple and Evernote's commitments to giving customers control over their data security, but until encryption becomes the default setting for everything on the cloud, we are all more exposed to risk than we should be. The technology is out there, ready and waiting to be included in the application.

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@GrumpyMonkey - yup;  modern version of the old (and slightly creepy) saying:  "Two people can keep a secret - if one of them's dead"  (Allegedly by a certain Mr M Twain). 

If you want something 100% secure,  the cloud is not the way to go.

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10 hours ago, gazumped said:

If you want something 100% secure,  the cloud is not the way to go.

There is no such thing as 100% secure.  Most people's home and PC/Mac are far easier to break into than most Cloud storage.  It  is far more likely that your spouse, partner, roommate, relative, friend will hack your computer that anyone will hack your Cloud storage.

There will always be some risk, but we must keep pushing on the companies that provide Cloud storage to provide highly secure, zero-knowledge encrypted storage of all of our data, or at least give us the option of doing so.

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2 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

There is no such thing as 100% secure.  Most people's home and PC/Mac are far easier to break into than most Cloud storage.  It  is far more likely that your spouse, partner, roommate, relative, friend will hack your computer that anyone will hack your Cloud storage.

There will always be some risk, but we must keep pushing on the companies that provide Cloud storage to provide highly secure, zero-knowledge encrypted storage of all of our data, or at least give us the option of doing so.

I don't know about 100%, but I think we are talking about your being more secure off the cloud than on it. I haven't heard this before about home computers being easier to break into (I've got an encrypted drive and long, random password), or that someone you know is more likely to hack your computer (I suppose it depends on the kind of people you know). Do you have numbers for this claim?

Speaking from personal experience, people have tried (and often succeeded) in hacking "my" data on the cloud several times (is it "my" data when it is on someone else's servers and their terms of service clearly state that they aren't responsible if the data is hacked?) : (1) Evernote was hacked, (2) my medical records have apparently been stolen at least once (from a former university), (3) my credit card information has been leaked on numerous occasions through hacks (the latest one was last week, in fact), (4) and at one point Dropbox exposed every single user to hacking when it messed up an update and opened up all of the accounts. I wonder how the millions of customers at Ashley Madison would respond to your claim that family members are more likely to hack personal data? I wonder how the millions of people who had their personnel files leaked by the government would feel about that claim? I just don't think there are millions and millions of family members breaking into their loved ones' computers. And, they also aren't throwing that stuff online for everyone to see. The numbers don't seem to back up your claim. There is some pretty horrendous stuff going on out there, after all.

More importantly, to your last point, I don't know which one is "inherently" more or less secure -- the cloud or your home computer. In most cases, I suspect the cloud, if managed properly, has the potential to be much "more" secure, because we are talking about tight physical control over the data and the possibility of extremely well-trained security experts watching over it. One company I think is doing a great job of this is SpiderOak -- you have zero knowledge encryption, everything is built around the principle of protecting your security / privacy, and it seems like it would be pretty difficult to actually gain access to data, even if an employee somehow managed to rent a U-Haul, make off with all of the servers, because everything is encrypted. It's not 100% secure, but it is pretty close to it.

We agree on the conclusion, even if we don't on the steps you took to get there -- we ought to be expecting people who hold our data on their servers to at least offer us the option of zero-knowledge encryption.

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4 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

I don't know about 100%, but I think we are talking about your being more secure off the cloud than on it. I haven't heard this before about home computers being easier to break into (I've got an encrypted drive and long, random password), or that someone you know is more likely to hack your computer (I suppose it depends on the kind of people you know). Do you have numbers for this claim?

Perhaps I mislead you with the term "hack".  What I meant about your home computer being "hacked" is that it is likely that it is easily accessible to others in the household.  Often times people will share one computer with everyone in the household.  Often home users either don't use a password to login to their computer, or it is very simple, or it is shared with everyone, or at least some, in the household.  Even if they have separate computer logins, data about the other user is often accessible. Most  families/households have fights (some more than others), and breakups, estrangements, and theft of household members happens, but perhaps not often reported.  "Borrowing" of their parents credit cards, cash, jewelry, etc is not unheard of.  I would expect some sensitive information on the household computer to be accessed by others.

And then there is always the domestic help and repair people who are in people's homes, often without the owners being present.

In addition to that, home users are more likely to get a computer virus or trojan, giving access to others.  

I'm not going to get into a debate with you over statistics.  I haven't seen you present any "numbers" or statistics either.

My point is that just keeping your information out of the cloud does not give you the 100% security that @gazumped implied.

I see no reason to get sidetracked by this discussion when the main point, that we both agree on, is that:

7 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

There will always be some risk, but we must keep pushing on the companies that provide Cloud storage to provide highly secure, zero-knowledge encrypted storage of all of our data, or at least give us the option of doing so.

 

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15 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

does not give you the 100% security that @gazumped implied.

It rather depends what you're keeping secure.  Putting things in the cloud does not,  we all seem to agree,  give total security.  You can pretty much bet that not telling anyone else your secret,  and not writing it down anywhere,  works pretty well most of the time. Anything else is a compromise.

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17 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

Perhaps I mislead you with the term "hack".  What I meant about your home computer being "hacked" is that it is likely that it is easily accessible to others in the household.  Often times people will share one computer with everyone in the household.  Often home users either don't use a password to login to their computer, or it is very simple, or it is shared with everyone, or at least some, in the household.  Even if they have separate computer logins, data about the other user is often accessible. Most  families/households have fights (some more than others), and breakups, estrangements, and theft of household members happens, but perhaps not often reported.  "Borrowing" of their parents credit cards, cash, jewelry, etc is not unheard of.  I would expect some sensitive information on the household computer to be accessed by others.

And then there is always the domestic help and repair people who are in people's homes, often without the owners being present.

In addition to that, home users are more likely to get a computer virus or trojan, giving access to others.  

I'm not going to get into a debate with you over statistics.  I haven't seen you present any "numbers" or statistics either.

My point is that just keeping your information out of the cloud does not give you the 100% security that @gazumped implied.

I see no reason to get sidetracked by this discussion when the main point, that we both agree on, is that:

 

If "hacking" means letting my family members use my computer, then I guess I have been "hacked" a lot. I am not terribly worried about my wife seeing our banking statements, after all, but I guess different families do stuff differently. I don't see any numbers yet, so I am going to disregard your claim about how much more "likely" you are to get hacked at home than in the cloud. 

"Millions" is a number, right? And, I gave you specific hacking events, at least one of which affected you. 1) About 50 million Evernote users had their passwords reset. The data accessed? Unknown. 2) My medical records. That would be the number 1. But, if we look at other hacks, 100 million were hacked just last year http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/12/23/cyberattack-surge-100m-medical-records-hacked-in-2015-officials-say.html. 3) My credit card information. That would be the number 1. But, if we look at other hacks, Target lost about 40 million credit card numbers the other day. 4) Dropbox. I think they had about 20 million users back in 2011. 5) My Ashley Madison account. That would be the number 1. No. Just kidding. There were over 30 million for that hack. 6) The US government lost about 20 million personnel files. What are we up to now? About 260 million people's data on third-party servers were hacked. And, these are just a few random examples. Are you honestly going to argue that more people at home (about the entire population of the US) are getting their information hacked, even by your definition of "hacking"? I find that doubtful. 

Why does it matter? Well, if you think we are more likely to get hacked at home, that suggests Evernote's cloud is safer, and there really isn't much incentive for us to push them for more security, or for them to offer it. However, if the reality is the opposite, and it is glaringly obvious that unencrypted data on the cloud puts hundreds of millions of us at risk every day, I'd say that is great incentive for Evernote to step up and distinguish themselves from other services by offering the most secure and reliable cloud environment available for your second brain. That beats work chat any day, in my opinion. 

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By the way, this argument isn't theoretical or a matter of semantics. Today Evernote published the second part of a blog post about how to use Evernote for your taxes. It sounds really convenient and I'd love to do it, but without encryption, I don't think it is such a good idea. Why not?

Well, the blog post concludes by saying: "If you have any remaining tax-related paper, ask your accountant or tax preparer if you can keep scanned copies of it instead—if you can, scan it to Evernote and shred the paper." Sounds like good advice, except that it demonstrates to me that Evernote sees its service as a safe place to keep your data unencrypted. You shred it at home (which is under lock and key among hundreds of millions of other homes with piles and piles of worthless paper), as if someone is likely to break into your house, rifle through your stuff, and steal your tax papers. But, you leave it online, where it could potentially be accessed by anyone anonymously and with near total impunity. That sounds like a terrible idea.

You might say that could never happen. But, it has happened already with Dropbox. https://www.grahamcluley.com/2014/05/dropbox-box-leak/ 

Some users might say that Evernote is not Dropbox, so it is OK. I don't have a good answer for that except to say that Evernote has been hacked in the past, and if something can happen to one cloud provider, it can happen to others, so why not give users the tools to protect themselves, just in case?

Other users might say that my claim above sounds impossible, because Dropbox is encrypted, and it actually undermines my point about encryption, because didn't I just finish a long post about how much we need it? Yes, Dropbox encrypts the data, but they hold the key. What I am looking for is zero knowledge encryption -- no employee could read it. No one except for you. 

Tech savvy users might say that is all fine and good, but the Dropbox problem was connected with sharing. OK. True. But, with a secure service (like SpiderOak), your shared stuff can be password protected, and when you share the link, it comes with a password for the other party. In other words, the link is insufficient to get the document, and the user would be protected, even from a mistake like the one Dropbox made.

Long story short, I think Evernote needs to change its position on encryption and that will only come about when they recognize the unnecessary risks they are exposing their users to, especially when they advocate storing sensitive data in the service. I know the developers know much more than I do about encryption, and I am certain they are capable of implementing it -- some of them even have security backgrounds, and they take the physical security of the data centers very seriously. What I don't know is why they continue to resist prioritizing it. That has been a mystery for nearly a decade now.

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5 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

Why does it matter? Well, if you think we are more likely to get hacked at home, that suggests Evernote's cloud is safer, and there really isn't much incentive for us to push them for more security, or for them to offer it.

Nope, your inference is wrong.  I never said nor suggested that the "Evernote's cloud is safer".

I don't know why you keep belaboring this point.  You seem to keep ignoring my point: 

On 3/9/2016 at 4:31 PM, JMichaelTX said:

There is no such thing as 100% secure.

That's all.  So if anyone thinks they can be 100% safe just by never putting anything in the Cloud, then they would be sadly mistaken.

Now, can we get back to the real issue:  How do we convince companies like Evernote to offer zero-knowledge encryption?

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On March 11, 2016 at 0:28 PM, Joshow said:

I think it would be so useful to have the option to password protect per notebook, as opposed to just one password for the entire app.

How would you see this working with search - would candidates only be listed if you've "unlocked" the notebook?

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On 2/8/2016 at 5:26 AM, Sylvain D. said:

It seems to me th is whole debate on password protected notes (lots of users requesting it, and Evernote team steadily turning it down for years) is the result of a misunderstanding. 

Basically the users are saying that password protected notes would add a little privacy in case their wife, husband or children click on the Evernote link in the family computer browser

Evernote people are saying that:

- this would give a false sense of security and that it's better to properly encrypt the secret part of the notes within or outside Evernote.

- that it would make searching into these notes impossible etc.

Well we're mixing up security and privacy+ease of use here: Users aren't even asking for the password Encrypted notes, they're asking for password Protected notes: if you have the password/pin code you can see the note, if you don't well, you can't. 

Users are ready to accept that this is not a top-notch security feature, it doesn't need to show on your (impressive) security overview page. Classify it as an ease of use feature if you will. As long as people don't log off their account when they're they're fully responsible of what happens with it when they're not around. However this feature will give them some peace of mind and possibility to do some damage control in case they eventually forget to log off some time.

Regards. 

 

This. Give me the ability to put some basic level of non-access on specific notes/notebooks.

I am not trying to stop someone who is legitimately trying to hack my computer. I am not trying to stop a determined IT professional at my office. Those situations make up 0.001% of the cases I care about.

99.999% of the time is just someone casually using my computer during a work meeting or other casual situation. They either don't mean to look - they click on the wrong note, or on the wrong notebook and the first note that pops up is something personal like some a note on my parent's finances - or they purposefully click when the casual opportunity exists. Let's be honest it is human nature to peek but given even the least resistance wouldn't try further. In either case a very simple level of protection would suffice and I am pretty sure this is all most of us are asking for.

I don't care if the note remains unencrypted. I don't care if it is in fact still sitting on my hard drive unencrypted. I just want the program to not DISPLAY it until I type in a password or PIN.

Help me protect from casual/opportunistic situations and I would be on Professional version in a heartbeat because it would let me use the program for both work and personal. I am not putting super secret things on there that will ruin me...just stuff I would prefer not be made public. 99.999% of the time any ridiculously simple form of privacy would suffice.

I am not trying to protect super secret stuff but just don't want certain things casually available.

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Evernote's opposition to this feature is beyond understanding. It looks like religious radicalism to me.

 

As far as i'm concerned, the moment if i happen to find a solution which suits my need instead of looking down on their users and lecturing them on how they should behave with their own data (like "you should encrypt your notes out of the tool", are you serious ?!), i'll be out of it.

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1 hour ago, Sylvain D. said:

Evernote's opposition to this feature is beyond understanding. It looks like religious radicalism to me

As far as i'm concerned, the moment if i happen to find a solution which suits my need instead of looking down on their users and lecturing them on how they should behave with their own data (like "you should encrypt your notes out of the tool", are you serious ?!), i'll be out of it.

Can someone point to me where Evernote has expressed opposition to encryption?

There are a huge list of other features that are missing in the apps.  It's not that Evernote has expressed opposition to those either.

There are limited resources and some features are going to be implemented before others. There are priorities.

Meanwhile, I have used work-arounds so that I can encrypt notes.

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9 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Can someone point to me where Evernote has expressed opposition to encryption?

There are several forms of expressing opposition to something, and Evernote has done all of these over the years:

  1. Do nothing, voice no opinion, even after requests for many years by many users
  2. Suggest loss of user features, like being unable to search
  3. Stating it is not a business priority (see below)

@Rich Tener is Evernote’s head of security.

On 2/1/2016 at 3:49 PM, Rich Tener said:

@JMichaelTX, the new encrypted text block will still only encrypt plain text like it does today. Adding fully encrypted notes or notebooks still isn't a business priority, so we don't have any plans to add those features.

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36 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Can someone point to me where Evernote has expressed opposition to encryption?

There are a huge list of other features that are missing in the apps.  It's not that Evernote has expressed opposition to those either.

There are limited resources and some features are going to be implemented before others. There are priorities.

Meanwhile, I have used work-arounds so that I can encrypt notes.

I want to be very clear. We aren't asking for encryption. We are asking for something as simple as not loading the screen with the note/notebook until a password is entered. 

Again, not looking for any true security but rather protection from the most casual / opportunistic peeking which solves 99.9%+ of occurrences we care about. 

Everyone recognizes Evernote is not meant as a vault but rather convenience. 

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51 minutes ago, mkg said:

I want to be very clear. We aren't asking for encryption. We are asking for something as simple as not loading the screen with the note/notebook until a password is entered. 

It wasn't clear - You are posting in a discussion which started
 

On April 13, 2015 at 1:31 PM, elgrayso said:

Password Encrypt certain notes. 

I agree password protected notebooks is separate from encryption and is a feature which Evernote should consider.
But again, its a question of priorities - which feature should be addressed first, and which platform?

Password protected notebooks is posted as a feature request at https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/94861-password-protection-for-individual-notebooks/?do=findComment&comment=400794 

also here in the Mac forum https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/66306-request-password-protected-notebooks/?do=findComment&comment=299249

Please upvote the request (voting buttons in the top left corner). 

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45 minutes ago, DTLow said:

It wasn't clear - You are posting in a discussion which started

Really?  It was clear to me when @mkg stated several posts ago (yesterday):

On 3/17/2016 at 11:35 AM, mkg said:

I don't care if the note remains unencrypted. I don't care if it is in fact still sitting on my hard drive unencrypted. I just want the program to not DISPLAY it until I type in a password or PIN.

Seems like a reasonable request, since it is already available on mobile devices.

48 minutes ago, DTLow said:

But again, its a question of priorities - which feature should be addressed first, and which platform?

We, as users, can't really deal with priorities other than casting an UpVote.  I think pretty much everyone understands that every software company will get more requests than they can afford to implement.  So, IMO, for each request, users can vote, and state their case for, or against the request.

But it should be clear to all that even if a request gets a huge number of UpVotes, it does not mean that request will be accepted or implemented.  Ultimately Evernote will decide what they believe is in their best business interest, as evidenced by the post by the Evernote Security Chief.  This is pretty much how it works with all software companies, although some seem to be more sensitive to user needs/requests than others.  Some companies get it right, some get it wrong, such as WordPerfect and Blackberry.

Good luck to all.  May your requests be fulfilled soon!

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Personally, I am not interested in the least in simply password protected notes or notebooks. If Evernote implements password protection, that's fine, but it doesn't really do anything for me. It is, as others have mentioned, largely (not completely) a separate issue from encryption. 

What I want to see is encryption for notes and notebooks. Other apps have mastered this, so it isn't an impossible technical feat beyond the skills of Evernote developers. You can search in them just fine, so that is a red herring. Some even require a password every time you open the app -- a solution that would seem to address both problems (password protection and encryption). The problem, as far as I can tell, is a lack of will. Evernote hasn't prioritized this (or passwords on notes), so it hasn't happened. 

If Evernote is still meant to be our external brain, I think that implies a lot of very personal / sensitive information will be stored in it, so I think we'd all benefit from encryption. Requiring a password (touch id on iOS) to open the app and encrypting the contents would be a wonderful solution, in my opinion.

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Well, I see that there are two levels of security that would be useful a lot of folks:

  1. Simple password protect the account and/or specific notebooks
    1. This is designed to keep "honest people honest"  :-)
    2. Keep out prying eyes of family or co-workers
    3. But offer no real barrier to serious hackers
    4. Easy to use, and hopefully easy to implement (but who knows?)
  2. Zero-Knowledge Encryption
    1. The ultimate in security/privacy protection
    2. Designed to keep your info private from everyone, including hackers, government, and the company who stores your info.
    3. Of course, we have to realize there is no such thing as 100% security
    4. Only security that is better than others
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I wish someone would just do something.  I just want the ability to password protect Evernote on my Mac exactly the way they do it on iOS.  You don't enter the password, you don't get to see the notes.  And give us the opportunity to set a timeout when the password will be required again.  What is so hard about this?  I'm not asking for encryption.  I just want someone to not be able to get in.  

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45 minutes ago, pirate727 said:

 I just want the ability to password protect Evernote on my Mac exactly the way they do it on iOS.

I'm not sure how you're doing this on IOS.

If you sign out of the app, you have to enter a password to sign in.

Most people (including myself) don't bother to sign out, and never have to sign in after the initial sign in.

>>And give us the opportunity to set a timeout when the password will be required again.

Although its not available in Evernote, there is a password timeout setting you can specify on the Mac

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

If you sign out of the app, you have to enter a password to sign in.

I don't actually sign out of Evernote on iOS.  I just close the app.  When I reopen the app, it requires the 4 digit passcode I set up for it.  The latest version allows me to use Touch ID to get in.  I think this is a premium feature.  But it requests the password every time upon reopen.

>>Although its not available in Evernote, there is a password timeout setting you can specify on the Mac.

I guess I never even thought about the Mac (screen) password.  Suddenly it makes me want to make it more than just a 4 digit number.  LOL  But that would work.

<Question> If you change your password on the Evernote website, will it prevent access at the PC level until the correct password is entered, or will it still show you the local notes and just not sync?

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23 minutes ago, pirate727 said:

If you change your password on the Evernote website, will it prevent access at the PC level until the correct password is entered, or will it still show you the local notes and just not sync?

If you sign out, when signing back in, my understanding is that the Evernote will connect to the cloud severs to verify the password.  In fact, thats a downside to signing out - you need internet access to sign back in

>>When I reopen the app, it requires the 4 digit passcode I set up for it.
Got it - you're asking for the pin code feature on the Mac

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This is really not an optional feature. I have one Premium account that I use for Work and personal. Really don't want my Book of Shadows, novel and Status of repainting the family room on my work system. As has been stated a simple password is fine. 

But this has obviously been a featurerequested without action for a long time. Significant enough for me that I am considering moving to One Note.

 

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Dropbox just implemented the ability to add a pin or use your thumb to access it, which I'm super happy about as there are some files I'd prefer people not to see by accident (e.g. finances).  I would love it if Evernote implemented something as sweet and simple as that, accepting it's not encrypted.

I appreciate there is a list of priorities, however it's surprising that this hasn't been addressed as yet as I would imagine a significant proportion of the user base use Evernote for business and personal notes which are sensitive in nature.

Wholly agree with mkg, when he says "Again, not looking for any true security but rather protection from the most casual / opportunistic peeking which solves 99.9%+ of occurrences we care about. "

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1 hour ago, jacobsevernoteideas said:

GREAT IDEA...I have shared some notes with colleagues via my phone & thought it would be really nice to have some notes inaccessible...especially for a Premium User.

In the meantime, to make notes inaccessible, you can encrypt the text and pdf attachments.

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I use Evernote everyday for about 3 years, but there is something important that I am missing, what might be a reason to switch to another tool.
In these days of security issues/discussions Evernote should have this feature: password/pin protected notes or notebook.
I like to put passwords for websites etc as a reminder in Evernote or other secret stuff.
For now it is to risky..

If Evernote doesn't want to loose the race with free apps from Apple en Microsoft it should offer more benefits.

 

 

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On 4/16/2016 at 3:55 AM, dfo said:

I use Evernote everyday for about 3 years, but there is something important that I am missing, what might be a reason to switch to another tool.
In these days of security issues/discussions Evernote should have this feature: password/pin protected notes or notebook.
I like to put passwords for websites etc as a reminder in Evernote or other secret stuff.
For now it is to risky..

If Evernote doesn't want to loose the race with free apps from Apple en Microsoft it should offer more benefits.

 

 

Hey there @dfo, welcome to the Forums! Please check out this previous thread and add your vote, our development team regularly reviews product feedback submitted through the Evernote User Forum.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Totobob said:

I would like to have a notebook that is protected from display by a password.

I up-voted the feature request

Have you looked a encryption?

- Text within a note can be encrypted with a password

- pdf attachments can be encrypted with a password

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+1

Surprised this hasn't implemented yet.  Please add.  

I would like to keep a personal journal and store important and sensitive information in Evernote but do not feel comfortable without a password to protect a notebook in which this information would be stored. 

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Dear EN Team! I love EN!

I would really like to use EN for things that I wouldn't want anyone else to read, like a private journal. A bit of extra security hear would really open EN up to new territory for me. In this, Search should not show results when the notebook is closed/locked (in fact, search doesn't need to work outside in with this notebook at all).

 

Graciously,

Tyler

 
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Hi Tyler! Thanks for the feature idea. This is a request we've been getting from our users, so we're looking into what's required to get this off the ground. Thanks for your patience as we work towards this.

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4 hours ago, BeneficialBob said:

Notebook encryption is the number 1 thing that is holding back people from using Evernote more. It should be raised in priority. 

I don't know if it is the number one thing, because people generally seem apathetic about security, with an attitude that security is impossible, so why bother? It's unfortunate, because even if encryption is not 100% security (nothing is), it is pretty effective.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2015/06/why_we_encrypt.html

Evernote knows more than we do about encryption, and even had a private meeting with Snowden in 2015 to talk about it, but to no avail. Snowden has a pretty authoratative voice when it comes to encryption.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2015/06/why_we_encrypt.html

I am not terribly optimistic about the possibilty of changing things at Evernote, because years of requesting it have not had any effect. But, if lots of people put pressure on Evernote, perhaps it will adopt better encryption. It fits their company philosophy (three data laws), it fits the product (put everything in it), and it certainly fits the trend among companies dealing with cloud security.

Speaking for myself, I use other apps for data I wouldn't be comfortable printing out and distributing at a party (Would you really want to share everything you clipped from the web? Is that anyone else's business?), so relatively little goes into my Evernote account anymore. I still recommend it to students and even did a class the other day on how to incorporate it into their studies, but with the warning that they be very careful about putting anything personal into it (actually, notes can be very personal as well, so they got a warning about that too).

 

 

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Well, if there is one thing it seems that many of us can agree upon, it is that Evernote should offer zero-key encryption on a per Notebook basis.

Having said that, one can become so obsessive about security, that they almost never do anything, go anywhere, share anything.  I suppose that is one approach, but not one for me.

While the use of, and benefit of, Evernote would be much improved by the encryption I mentioned above, it is still very useful now if one simply takes reasonable precautions:

  1. Before putting into Evernote, Use AES-256 encryption in PDF or zip (some zip tools now offer 256-AES) files for all information that is sensitive
  2. Don't put anything unencrypted into Evernote that could be harmful to you, or you would be embarrassed by, if obtained by a malicious third party.

For me, the pretty much covers everything I would want to put into Evernote.

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True. Evernote can still be useful (it is for me), but there are other convenient tools out there that have encryption, so it isn't a matter of never going anywhere or never doing anything -- you simply use something besides Evernote. In the case of Apple Notes, it just takes a touch of your fingerr to encrypt. I would say this is the worst outcome for Evernote, and I am sorry to see it, but it was a choice they made.

The good news is that Evernote has many, many more features than a lot of its competitors, and it does a lot of things better. If only they had encryption, I think it would all really come together into a perfect package. 

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On June 3, 2016 at 4:16 PM, GrumpyMonkey said:

I don't know if it is the number one thing, because people generally seem apathetic about security, with an attitude that security is impossible, so why bother?

I think you're right about the apathy.
For me, the information I need encrypted, is encrypted.  
There are many third party tools out there.
 
I'm not going to let the Evernote feature set prevent me from encryption,
In fact - I'm not sure I want my notes locked into Evernote because I want to control the encryption/decryption.

My preferred method is encrypted pdfs, using my Mac Preview feature.
Its not the strongest encryption, but its convienent and the resulting attachment is portable.

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I would have liked to open Evernote app on my Mac similarly as I do on my iOS devices (iPhone or iPad). On my iOS devices I enter a simple passcode. I am surprised that this is not available for Evernote on Mac, since a Mac can be shared by family members (wife, children, etc).

Solutions such as signing out of Evernote app is not so simple. You have to enter both username and password, together with a 2-step verification code. Constantly signing out and in would be too cumbersome. A simple 4-digit passcode would hold.

It is interesting that passcode is available in Evernote for iOS devices and these devices are password protected. You must unlock an iOS device in order to use it. However, a Mac is usually unlocked if it is shared among family members. If you share a computer with your family, the computer is "open" for use. My point is that it is more necessary to have a passcode for Evernote on desktop computers or laptops, than on iOS devices (or android devices).

Some has suggested to have a guest account or that each member of family has its own account. The problem is that some software, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, are pestering with notifications across the user accounts, and even prompt for passwords! My 10-year-old kid (on his account) was very confused by such pestering notifications. So, having multiple accounts is not an ideal solution for my needs. A simple passcode would hold.

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Hi

Or being able to mark some notebooks as private and a need to re-renter password before anything (search, context, tags etc.) is shown from the private notebooks.

Let me explain the reasoning/use case of why anyone would ever want this feature. I have a premium account and I have started keeping articles, notes in evernote. But before that I was using evernote for private stuff - diary. Now I want to use evernote during my work also to access the public stuff (articles etc. mentioned earlier) and add to them. Now I don't want to have my diary open at my work station. But I want my stuff to be at one place (the reason I am using evernote in the first place). So it would be great if I could mark some notebooks as private and nothing from them shows up till I manually go and unlock them using my password.

Currently the only way I could do that was by putting all the public stuff into a public notebook and sharing it with a dummy evernote account that I log in during my work.

 

My organization does not use evernote business and I am not even remotely interested in trying to convince anyone to start using evernote right now because of the following 

  1. we are primary linux based
  2. the web client is not good enough

So please don't suggest to go for Evernote business.

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Hi.  Totally understand your use case,  and I agree this could be useful for some technically savvy users.  But Evernote is about being useful to its 200M users - most (or at least a significant portion) of whom won't leave a workstation open for others to see,  or more probably won't have anyone who could see it.  I don't see this being developed in the near future.  You may be better off looking elsewhere for your note-taking software...

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Hi Aseem! Thanks for the idea. It's one we've heard before, but it's generally been directed at the desktop teams. As a workaround, I know there are extensions that shut down certain tabs if you haven't looked at it in a while - possibly it could be configured to password protect certain sites? Haven't looked into it, tbh

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...and actually you wouldn't have to go 'public' with a notebook to share it with your work account. If you opened another basic account and used that for private items,  share a notebook with your desktop account which you can open via a browser window if and when necessary.  Shut down the window and the notes are 'hidden' again..

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7 hours ago, gazumped said:

...and actually you wouldn't have to go 'public' with a notebook to share it with your work account. If you opened another basic account and used that for private items,  share a notebook with your desktop account which you can open via a browser window if and when necessary.  Shut down the window and the notes are 'hidden' again..

The problem with multi account approach is that it is messy because Evernote has weird limitations of not allowing me to add new tags to a shared notebook. And spreading things  around goes against the idea of evernote in the first place.

 

21 hours ago, scruggles said:

Hi Aseem! Thanks for the idea. It's one we've heard before, but it's generally been directed at the desktop teams. As a workaround, I know there are extensions that shut down certain tabs if you haven't looked at it in a while - possibly it could be configured to password protect certain sites? Haven't looked into it, tbh

Work around can be done. Multiple accounts is a work around that I am using. But that is not really convenient. Say I am sitting with a colleague and I we are working on something. Both of us looking at the screen. I need to look up something and I search. Now the search also turns up some notes that are in the private category. And the situation may turn odd.

Usually when I am at home and using my laptop I login into the premium account on the web. Now the first thing in the morning I have to remember that I need to logout premium account and login the basic/public account. If I forget and I open up the tab Evernote web turns up all notes by default in the order created. It usually contains private category and public category. 

Say I want someone's help and let someone sit on my workstation with me standing behind. They want to access the article that I was just reading. But hey I cannot let them do that as search can turn up things that I don't them to be able to see. 

I can go on with the use case basing on Evernote's motto "The more you keep in Evernote the better it gets". But lack of some features make it inconvenient. 

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21 hours ago, scruggles said:

Hi Aseem! Thanks for the idea. It's one we've heard before, but it's generally been directed at the desktop teams. As a workaround, I know there are extensions that shut down certain tabs if you haven't looked at it in a while - possibly it could be configured to password protect certain sites? Haven't looked into it, tbh

Also what do you "generally been directed at the desktop teams"? Didn't get that.

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I fully agree. I should be able to lock Evernote with a pass code if I want to. That should be an option in these security-conscious times we live in with every instance of Evernote I have. But it's not.

Evernote on my Android phone and tablet have a pass code. Evernote on my Mac laptop does not offer a pass code. Why? Yes, Evernote is for millions of users. Good. I'm happy it's successful and will be around in the future. I depend on Evernote for archiving important documents. Just make using a pass code optional for those of us who want to use it. For those who don't, they don't have to activate the pass code function. How hard is that?

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Hi.  This thread started out about Evernote Web,  and @scruggles meant (I think) that password requests are usually for the installed desktop product as @Waco Ed has confirmed.  Plus @Aseem Bansal started this thread by looking for some way to mark individual Notebooks (Notes?) "private" which doesn't necessarily say 'password' to me.  Evernote might be looking at other ways to satisfy the various requests they've had.

However I apologise for being probably too negative in my first response.  It's not a question of "just" making something available - there are thousands of requests in the pipeline for mindmapping / tag management / colors / etc etc.  I agreed that this is a good request - but Evernote have to prioritize and fit development work into what must by now be a crowded schedule of OS and device bug fixing and maintenance.  They'll put the most popular and potentially customer satisfying features early in the queue.  I don't know where this request will come,  but the more clicks it has in the top right left corner,  the more impact you'll have.  I added mine... but I'm not holding my breath.

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1 hour ago, gazumped said:

Hi.  This thread started out about Evernote Web,  and @scruggles meant (I think) that password requests are usually for the installed desktop product as @Waco Ed has confirmed.  Plus @Aseem Bansal started this thread by looking for some way to mark individual Notebooks (Notes?) "private" which doesn't necessarily say 'password' to me.  Evernote might be looking at other ways to satisfy the various requests they've had.

However I apologise for being probably too negative in my first response.  It's not a question of "just" making something available - there are thousands of requests in the pipeline for mindmapping / tag management / colors / etc etc.  I agreed that this is a good request - but Evernote have to prioritize and fit development work into what must by now be a crowded schedule of OS and device bug fixing and maintenance.  They'll put the most popular and potentially customer satisfying features early in the queue.  I don't know where this request will come,  but the more clicks it has in the top right left corner,  the more impact you'll have.  I added mine... but I'm not holding my breath.

I was thinking password but if they can make it private in some other way I am fine with that. I am not sure how that could work in an alternate way but I think I have added enough details for their product team to make an informed decision. I was thinking protection at the notebook level. 

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On 7/23/2016 at 5:58 AM, Waco Ed said:

I fully agree. I should be able to lock Evernote with a pass code if I want to. That should be an option in these security-conscious times we live in with every instance of Evernote I have. But it's not.

Evernote on my Android phone and tablet have a pass code. Evernote on my Mac laptop does not offer a pass code. Why? Yes, Evernote is for millions of users. Good. I'm happy it's successful and will be around in the future. I depend on Evernote for archiving important documents. Just make using a pass code optional for those of us who want to use it. For those who don't, they don't have to activate the pass code function. How hard is that?

I hope you upvoted the thread. It would help if people actually upvote this.

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I use Evernote a lot. But for any sensitive information, I store it in local notebooks. I would never trust Evernote with it given the technology deployed currently. Between hackers, the government, and court orders, I'd say Evernote can't win, although they may do a great job fighting off the hordes.

After personal data is leaked (by whatever means), its too late for an apology, etc.

However there are times when I am not where my PC with the local notebooks is located. And I wish I had access. Given the relative insecurity of Evernote, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. I've been considering two options:

  • an account with a service like SpiderOak, I would still keep my local notebooks in Evernote, but have them regularly backed up to SpiderOak. Then if I needed when traveling, I'd have Spideroak access on my mobile PC, along with the encryption key, and could download and view Evernote on my mobile PC.
  • Try to use Boxcryptor and move my Local Notebook directory onto an encrypted folder on that device. Boxcryptor would be linked to my Dropbox.

Has anyone either tried either of these or have any feedback on the ideas?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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+1 

I have been using Evernote for years now as a Premium customer and have over 4,000 personal notes. I recently led an effort to get my whole team of 50 on Evernote Business at work and we love most of its features but this lack of password protection and encryption is its most glaring weakness. It also seems like a fairly easy-to-implement feature and one that is widely requested and available from competing platforms. Not sure why Evernote has not prioritized this. 

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I totally understand that Evernote needs to make money but that's the strange thing! -  With apple offering passcode protected notes for free there is no way I'm going to pay for an upgrade to Evernote Premium. With the most recent (and reasonable) restriction to only having Evernote Basic sync with two devices I'm really only staying for historical reasons and laziness but I'm much more likely to leave than upgrade. Perhaps that's the Evernote strategy for weeding out freebie users? 

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+1.   I googled how to do this assuming that I just didn't know how.  Really kind of shocked.  Like others, I don't need a separate encrypted store, just the ability to password protect a notebook, or even a stack.  Just like you can a file folder . 

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Adding my voice to the chorus of support for basic note password protection and, perhaps later, true encryption.  The notion that this hampers the search and OCR features of the app is irrelevant to me -- I simply wouldn't expect either to touch a password-protected note.  Seriously, this is a very simple, long-standing ask and the Evernote silence round the matter is all but deafening.  Regards,

Mark D.

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On 02/09/2016 at 8:37 PM, Mark Drury said:

Adding my voice to the chorus of support for basic note password protection and, perhaps later, true encryption.  The notion that this hampers the search and OCR features of the app is irrelevant to me -- I simply wouldn't expect either to touch a password-protected note.  Seriously, this is a very simple, long-standing ask and the Evernote silence round the matter is all but deafening.  Regards,

Mark D.

the Evernote silence around this,  and every other development issue is standard practice.  Doesn't mean they haven't heard your request,  or that they agree or disagree with the need.  Just that they don't (usually) answer questions like this.  Ever. <_<

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Hi. Personally, I'd prefer if they didn't waste time with cosmetic protections (if someone has access to your user account on the computer, they can easily find everything in Evernote without even opening the app). I'd recommend creating a separate user account on your computer. You can switch users in just one or two seconds. It's fast, convenient, secure, and already built into your computer :)

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Maybe we need to define what we expect to happen with a "locked" notebook.

1. We already have private vs public settings.

2. We have the ability to segregate information into separate notebooks.

3. We have the ability to encrypt text strings within notes.

What would you expect with a locked notebook?

a. password-protected access for viewing. Password needed to lock and unlock? 

b. Encryption of the contents of the notebook? ( I wouldn't need this. For passwords, etc, I use another program)

c. Hiding contents of the notebook from searches? (This is the feature that I would like the most. I have some PDFs of contract docs, for example.  or some text notes on company policy, etc.  Evernote is a good place for them, but I don't want them to show up in a search).

d. Would a locked note (as opposed to a locked notebook) be sufficient?

 

 

How about you? We're more likely to get a feature like this if we say exactly what it is that we want.

 

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My request is simple - I use Evernote for lots of things - and several people share the devices I have evernote on.   I would like to be able to password protect certain notebooks (journal, financial info, etc).  I also like the idea of excluding some items from search. 

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On 2016-09-12 at 4:29 AM, GrumpyMonkey said:

Hi. Personally, I'd prefer if they didn't waste time with cosmetic protections (if someone has access to your user account on the computer, they can easily find everything in Evernote without even opening the app). I'd recommend creating a separate user account on your computer. You can switch users in just one or two seconds. It's fast, convenient, secure, and already built into your computer :)

Actually, that sounds better than it works.  I had a separate account for work stuff and for the past year switching between two accounts didn't work (folks at evernote never found what causes the problem). I gave up the 2nd account in frustration. Even if it did work I'm not sure I would go back to two accounts. There is something nice about knowing everything is in one place.

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Like other users, I too am concerned about encryption of personal content in the journals.  I have been an avid Evernote user, but may switch to another service for this reason.  I have not found one with the features of Evernote or Onenote...

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On 2016-11-27 at 9:04 PM, cpage said:

Like other users, I too am concerned about encryption of personal content in the journals.  I have been an avid Evernote user, but may switch to another service for this reason.  I have not found one with the features of Evernote or Onenote...

Add your vote to the request; voting buttons are in the upper left corner of the discussion

Personally, I encrypt any of my sensitive data
Evernote has a text encryption feature, and I use encrypted pdfs

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Both of these are frequently requested, and feature requests for both already exist. I'd suggest doing a forum search, and adding your vote there, rather than making new requests.

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On 29-11-2016 at 11:31 PM, DTLow said:

Until this gets implemented, be aware of the text encryption feature.

I also use encrypted PDF attachments

I just discovered a great free open source scanner PDF tool: NAPS2  https://www.naps2.com/

"...Scan with a single click. Easily scan with your chosen settings, or set up multiple profiles for different devices and configurations. Once you've finished scanning, you can save, email, or print with only a couple clicks. Save to PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, or other file types

..."

You can scan your documents and then save them as a searchable encrypted pdf file.  You can also import already scanned documents and save or merge them back into pdf.

This is a perfect fit in my evernote workflow!

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2 minutes ago, eric99 said:

I just discovered a great free open source scanner PDF tool: NAPS2  https://www.naps2.com/

"...Scan with a single click. Easily scan with your chosen settings, or set up multiple profiles for different devices and configurations. Once you've finished scanning, you can save, email, or print with only a couple clicks. Save to PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, or other file types

..."

You can scan your documents and then save them as a searchable encrypted pdf file.  You can also import already scanned documents and save or merge them back into pdf.

This is a perfect fit in my evernote workflow!

Clarification: although encrypted search technology already exists, you can not search inside an encrypted pdf file

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3 hours ago, eric99 said:

Clarification: although encrypted search technology already exists, you can not search inside an encrypted pdf file

Thats the downside to encryption - it blocks the search feature

It would be even serious if the entire notebook was encrypted

I'm adding enough details in the title, and text in the note so there is data for the search

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Strong encryption at the notebook level (eg, all note content, and all note metadata (eg title, tags, creation date, change history) with no escrowing of keys, and the ability to perform rich-text-editing of the contents of an encrypted note (which includes encryption of attachments to the note) on any device, is a requirement before I will pay for Evernote.

I'll use the free basic account lightly until then, but I won't go "all in" with Evernote until this is implemented.

As a software developer who has implemented all the parts of encrypted note store functionality which I envision, I assure you there is no rocket-science to doing this, these days. You want one or more seasoned developers to do it, but it is certainly do-able.

To do it properly (given the current feature sets), EN will need to implement both server-side crypto (for EN Web and EN APIs), and client-side-only crypto (for tin-foil hats like me who are annoyed at the fact that GCHQ and NSA have staff and/or data-feeds and/or secret letters which enable them to access anything stored in the major cloud services, and are concerned about APT threats to corporate data -- such as what has recently been disclosed about Russia's and WikiLeak's actions in the US elections.

To do it properly, sync-ing and change history and search indexing should be enhanced to work properly with ciphertext (post-encryption) as well as plain-text (unencrypted) content.

Encryption does not mean you can't have searchability -- EN would need to index the unencrypted text, then encrypt the resulting search indices with the appropriate encryption key.  Then, in order to search, the search engine would need to decrypt the indices which it can using the password(s) which the user has provided, in order to include those indexed values in the search process.  This might not scale to be able search millions of users' databases in a single query -- which is actually quite desirable from my perspective -- but it should scale quite comfortably for 1 to 1000 users/passwords over 1 to 1000 notebooks.

Modern mid-to-high-end cell phones have enough RAM and enough CPU to provide searching of client-side-encrypted notebooks (eg, keys never supplied to servers); I can't speak for others, but for me, only indexing of note metadata and note text would be good enough (eg, no client-side searching of attachments such as PDFs).

Finally, client-side encryption does not mean you can't share encrypted documents on the server, or do server-side merging of encrypted changes from multiple people.  To support these features you'd need to use public key-encryption, and it does mean you'd need to canonicalize the pasted-in HTML which you store or create, since the unit of merging and change history recording would need to match the unit of encryption -- which I suggest would be a complete HTML tag and its nested children, for simplicity.

If I were designing the feature set, I would make the recording in the change history of who initiated certain changes and when they were done, a configurable feature at the notebook level, to provide a degree of plausible deniability. You would need to record change sequence, but you should allow updates to be persisted anonymously.

Implementing server-side key-escrow/storage for those users who want it (eg, corporations) is not a big deal either.  For those who don't want it, it should be possible to prove by inspection, that the encryption key is not hidden in any files which are synced to the server, and is never sent to the servers using an API, unless a user initiates such a transfer explicitly, and is never stored on disk locally.

You should allow a user to use different keys for different documents (and even different sections of a single document) within an encrypted notebook.  

In summary, I believe the problems which need to be solved are well understood, are tractable, and do not involve any compromise of the current feature set.  So EN, please just do it!

PS: I encourage you to crowd-source a detailed technical requirements spec, and the priority of various features, in order to ensure you don't miss critical security details, and that you implement features in the correct order to avoid serious gotchas along the way.   If you go this way, I would be interested in participating.

 

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I fully agree with GrumpyMonkey but I see even one more fact: If you see 90 votes for this feature and assuming that only every tenth user using the votes feature, we know this is an important and very often asked request. Now it is not on our side to solve it technically. EN has many of talented developers and they can do a good job - and maybe they have even started working on that. But what I really miss here - on this 18 pages discussion: A clear statement from EN. Do they want to do this or not - or whatsoever.

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1 hour ago, Frank Blome said:

A clear statement from EN. Do they want to do this or not - or whatsoever.

That is such an important comment. I miss the good old days when Evernote employees were permitted to answer and explain why a decision was made or not made.

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2 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

That is such an important comment. I miss the good old days when Evernote employees were permitted to answer and explain why a decision was made or not made.

Yup. I've completely given up patience with Evernote, and really kept the notifications to this thread active to see if/how long it would take to finally implement something.

As the saying goes; the silence is deafening.

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