The NTFS file system is native to Windows NT/2000/XP. However, older operating systems, such as Windows 98/ME are unable to access such partitions, therefore, some users are not able to enjoy the advantages of this remarkable file system.
NTFS is a reliable file system; proper management of its security permissions allows you to restrict the access to your sensitive data. But even in this case, your files are not safe enough, as there are several techniques that allow a rather skilled person to easily open them. The administrator password can be removed by the aid of third-party tools even by non-professionals. Check our "Basics of PC protection" guide to see how you can avoid such issues. An NTFS partition can be mounted under a Linux operating system. In this case all the files and folders become accessible, regardless of their security permissions. There are Linux distributions that are able to run from a CD (Knoppix, Slackware, etc), without leaving a trace on the computer hard-disk(s). In other words, the only thing one needs in order to override the NTFS permissions is such a disk (and the ability to boot the machine from it).A hard-disk can be physically removed from your computer and connected to another one which runs a Windows NT/2000/XP system. Any user with administrator privileges can take ownership of your partitions, ignoring all the previously set access permissions. The latest version of the NTFS file system has a built-in encryption functionality, which in addition to the file permissions – is a great security enhancement. However, the user is tied to a Windows XP (or newer) operating system, being unable to access the data on earlier versions of Windows. Moreover, some of the above techniques are still able to offer access to the encrypted files.
Private Disk is not affected by any of the above. Your encrypted files can be accessed under any Microsoft operating system (regardless of the type of the partition) – all you need to do is to run Private Disk and provide the correct password. Please, note that without the password your data will be completely unreadable as it is encrypted with the strongest algorithm available today – AES 256-bit. Even if a person is able to get physical access to your media (hard-disk, usb flash drive, etc), for instance, when your computer is stolen or lost – nothing can be done, unless the password specified during the creation of the virtual encrypted disk is known. A "brute-force" attack is a very inefficient approach, because it can take hundreds of years (depending on how strong the password is). For more examples, please refer to our suggestions on choosing the password…