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douglerner

mac (Archived) Is Evernote really a secure syncing solution?

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I'm still trying to find the best solution for (1) keeping tracks of miscellaneous scraps of info and (2) syncing all this between my Mac, iPhone and iPad.

I use EagleFiler for (1). For people not familiar with it, it is Yojimbo-like in concept, but better, I think. I've been using it for a few years now since switching from SOHO Notes, and really like it. But it has no native syncing abilities. The developer recommends putting the EagleFiler library in DropBox.

But DropBox doesn't search doesn't work well, and doesn't seem search at all with EagleFiler.

That's the reason I've been scratching my head over the best way to sync.

I am also concerned about the privacy thing, so the best solution would be a wifi or even tethered sync directly with my iMac. I wonder why everybody is so blase about keeping their personal data online... I have software licenses and all sorts of info in EagleFiler I wouldn't want to get hacked into. Yet I'd still like access to this info whenever and wherever I need it.

But if it has to be in the cloud, my main concern is actually being able to find and read things. DropBox and EagleFiler, their recommended solution, just doesn't work because you can't find stuff.

I've also played with the free version of Evernote. At least with Evernote it actually finds things. That's why even though I continue to use EagleFiler as my main database for "all sorts of scraps of info," when I go out and need to refer to some specific data I end up creating extra Evernote notes so the info is easily accessible to me on my iPhone and iPad.

One solution would be just moving everything into Evernote and paying them $5/month so I would get all my files supported. But they have an irregular database system (EagleFiler just uses the regular Mac file system) plus I still feel worried about security. I don't believe Evernote has encrypted notebooks or anything like that. Why isn't everybody concerned about leaving all their stuff in the cloud like that?!

So - I was just wondering what you all did about syncing things between your various devices. And particularly, why you feel secure about using Evernote.

Thanks,

doug

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Michael, that was indeed a very enlightening blog entry.

This point in particular is reassuring:

Evernote can encrypt sensitive data within a note. If you have something within a note that you want to keep private—passwords, financial information, counseling notes, etc.—you can do so by highlighting the data, right-clicking, and selecting “Encrypt selected text.” You will then be prompted to enter a password. In order to view that information in the future, you (or anyone else) will have to enter the password to do so.

---

I just tried that and... what could be cooler? It really works. That's a fascinating encryption technique.

How do you find the HTML and XML exports?

Thanks again,

doug

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I notice the encrypting only works for text files, and not PDF or other docs.

I have one file that is a scan of a W2 form, with my SSN on it. Is there any way of encrypting that?

Thanks,

doug

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You might be interested in a blog post I wrote this week called, “Is Your Data Safe in Evernote?” I am not associated with Evernote in any way other than a satisfied user.

Well done!

And you have links to other uses of Evernote.

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I notice the encrypting only works for text files, and not PDF or other docs.

I have one file that is a scan of a W2 form, with my SSN on it. Is there any way of encrypting that?

Thanks,

doug

Just to add to the comments above - PDF's and various other file types have their own built-in password protection. I use this for my own secret-squirrel stuff like passwords and bank details. The PDF contents aren't indexed so you need to add some useful note names / tags / free-text comments to be able to find the stuff again, but it's an added level of security. You could also store any content (I assume - not tested this!) as an encrypted zip file.

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I notice the encrypting only works for text files, and not PDF or other docs.

I have one file that is a scan of a W2 form, with my SSN on it. Is there any way of encrypting that?

Thanks,

doug

For sensitive pdf's that I want completely secure, I encrypt them prior to putting them in Evernote. For pdf's that contain sensitive information (but the entire document doesn't need to be encrypted), I just go through with Adobe before hand and black out the information such as social security number before syncing it. This removes information from the visible document and also removes the hidden searchable text that would show up in a text search.

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A "touch up" feature for images to mask part of them would be a nice enhancement.

doug

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I've put some files in an encrypted disk image (Easy on a Mac), drug it to a note. Typed out a little table of contents in the body of the note and synched it. Works like a charm. The disk image isn't searchable but the table of contents is.

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For sensitive pdf's that I want completely secure, I encrypt them prior to putting them in Evernote. For pdf's that contain sensitive information (but the entire document doesn't need to be encrypted), I just go through with Adobe before hand and black out the information such as social security number before syncing it. This removes information from the visible document and also removes the hidden searchable text that would show up in a text search.

I do this as well. When I first started using EN 2 1/2 years ago, I didn't put anything with sensitive info (IE account numbers) in. Instead, I would keep them in a Truecrypted container on my hard drive. While I still do this (for a couple of reasons), I've recently been also adding them into EN b/c I'm relying more & more upon EN over time.

The reasons I still keep copies on my hard drive in a Truecrypted container:

- I've been going paperless for several years & I would not be able to add all my old files into EN b/c of the upload limit

- Some docs exceed the note/attachment size limit of EN

- I feel more comfortable having important docs in more than one location - CYA, as they say :D

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