By MindVision Software
Kremlin for Mac OS is relatively easy to use, but I found it confusing at first because unlike most software you don't launch Kremlin in order to use it. (See the section below for details on how the program works.) Also, the registered version is on the expensive side compared to other encryption shareware. If you expect to encrypt and/or decrypt a lot of files, the Kremlin Sentry automatic encryption system could come in handy. For example, if you expect to be working on the same sensitive document for several days, you can set the Sentry to automatically decrypt that file when you turn on your computer, and automatically encrypt it when you shut down the computer. The secure deletion feature is modeled on the standard set by the U.S. Department of Defense. The program installs an icon on the menu bar for easy access, and a custom icon on your trash can. It also adds extensions and control panels. While these features increase the program's functionality, they also make it more difficult to completely delete the program if you decide you don't want to use it. I ran the Spring Cleaning uninstaller and still had to go through my system file and hand-delete half a dozen files that the uninstaller missed.
After downloading and installing Kremlin you must restart your computer before using it. But as noted above, you don't actually launch Kremlin to use it. Kremlin adds an icon to the menu bar (to set preferences or register the software), a control panel (to automate program activities), and a custom icon to the trash (so deleted items can't be recovered). I tried installing Kremlin twice (on separate hard drives) and both times the program was installed directly onto my desktop even though I selected a specific location within the hard drive. This was a minor annoyance, however, as the program icon can be dragged into a file after it's been installed.
Kremlin was confusing at first because unlike most software, you don't actually open the program to use it. In fact, if you do open the program by double-clicking the icon, your desktop menu bar disappears! (The menu reappears when you select Finder or another open program, but without the menu bar there is no way to close the program except by restarting the computer.)
The simplest way to encrypt a file is to drag the file over the Kremlin lock icon. However, you can also open the contextual menu by control-clicking on a file that you want to encrypt. (If you open the contextual menu in Mac OS 9, be sure to select "Kremlin Encrypt" rather than "Encrypt," because the latter opens Apple File Security. But that begs the question: why use a third-party program at all if you can use Apple File Security?)
Once you've dragged the file onto the icon or selected "Kremlin Encrypt" from the contextual menu, a window opens for you to enter and confirm your password. You can also use this window to change preferences (for example, to delete the source file when you encrypt it). When you click the "encrypt" button a progress bar appears while the file is being encrypted. The encrypted file appears with ".kremlin" at the end of the name. The source file is not deleted unless you select that option in the preference window.
To decrypt a file, double-click it to open the dialogue window and click "decrypt." You can also use the window to change preferences.
The Sentry control panel can be used to automate program actions at startup, shutdown, daily, or once at a specific time.
As with any symmetric key encryption software, if you send an encrypted file to someone else you will also have to provide the recipient with the key.
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