- Personal Data Security (PDS)

Coming soon: 2.0 beta 2
Wiki page
Download PDS

External Reviews:
  • Softpedia (PC)
  • Softpedia (Linux)

  • Development:
  • Graphics & Icons
  • QA Web Site

  • For Application Hosts:
  • PAD File - 1.0

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  • Have you ever needed to provide a username and passphrase, but you didn't have it with you?

  • Do you store your authentication credentials on a unprotected computer, thumb drive, or worse, on a piece of paper?

  • Would you like *secure* access to your data from an untrusted computer, or even a public computer, without having administrator access and without having to install an application? With complete interop between Windows, Linux and Solaris (and all core functionality on Mac)?

  • Could you use an application with the ability to 1) encrypt several large (terabyte) files simultaneously, or 2) recursively encrypt *all* the files in a directory tree; in either case, writing the encrypted bits to disk *or* tape using a very small memory footprint?

    Did you answer *yes* to any of these questions? Then consider using
    Personal Data Security (PDS) !

    Many of us need anywhere/anytime access to our "private" data. More importantly we need to ensure that the access is secure and our data remains private. Thus, the goal of this application is to deliver an easy and intuitive tool to provide secure anywhere/anytime access to private data, therby providing the ability to carry sensitive information (account numbers, login credentials, etc.) on a thumb drive without worrying that the data will be compromised should the thumb drive be lost or stolen. This is not to say that PDS must be run from a thumb drive, but rather, it can be ran from there as well.

    PDS provides two sets of core functionalities. First is a multi-window viewer / editor for your files. To open a file, select it and provide the passphrase. Files can be opened in read-only (view) mode or read-write (edit) mode. The second core functionality provided is the ability to encrypt and decrypt not only your existing files, but it will also recursively encrypt directories as well. One of the features of PDS is that all the encryption can be done with the same key. The encryption key protecting your data is kept a keystore, and both the key and the keystore are protected by one (or two) passphrases. Without the correct credentials, the key remains secured and your data cannot be decrypted. And you just have to remember one password to get to all your other account passwords and encrypted documents and directories.

    Personal Data Security video tutorial at This application was designed to be installed to and executed from a thumb drive; a thumb drive that can be plugged in to any Java enabled computer. As an enhancement, the application is also delivered via Java Web Start (JWS), thus adding a few additional features (desktop icon, add/remove via control panel, etc.) that we have come to expect. Sadly, JWS also appears to go wonky at times. For that reason it is not the recommended method of installation. Still, using either mode of installation, this application will encrypt your data, rendering it useless to anyone that does not have the encryption key. In addition, the application provides configuration options that allows full interoperability among different installations; a file encrypted "on the road" using the thumb drive installation can be decrypted on another machine that has the JWS installation.

  • As a part of the design, you can make your data protection as simple (one passphrase for everything) or as complex (multiple keystores, multiple keys, with different passphrases for every keystore and key) as you like. Also, there is no need to install software on every computer you want to use; all the software is contained in a single JAR file. A JAR file implies Java, which means that this application should run on any machine with Java (1.6+) installed.

    The goals this application has reached include:
    * Secure access to confidential data from any Java (1.6+) enabled device.
    * Piece of mind, knowing that your secured data cannot be easily compromised.
    * An easy to use application with a multi-document editor for text files.
    * A fast, platform-independent encryption engine that will:
        * Encrypt and decrypt existing files.
        * Recursively encrypt and decrypt existing directories.
    * Flexibility, knowing you can the application securely from a thumb drive on an uncompromised public computer.

    Download PDS

    Should you find this of application of use, please make a donation to your local Humane Society, or the ASPCA. Thank you !

    Manual Installation: Run PDS from a Thumb Drive

    Unzip one of these files to a thumb drive and run PDS wherever you go.

  •    Zipped Release - Version 2.0 beta 1
  •    Zipped Release - Version 1.0     *** Recommended ***

    Java Web Start Installation (option 1): Install the latest stable release and be prompted for updates:

  •    Java Web Start - Version 1.0

    Java Web Start Installation (option 2): Install the current stable release without being prompted for updates:

  •    Java Web Start - Version 1.0

    The application, pds.jar, is a signed JAR file. The fingerprints are as follows:
    Certificate fingerprints:
             MD5:  91:B3:72:19:B7:A7:A1:F4:34:53:29:BB:34:EE:1B:38
             SHA1: 5B:15:FF:6C:27:72:CE:AA:83:92:6C:39:1F:F1:1D:1B:DB:F2:5D:61
             Signature algorithm name: SHA1withRSA
             Version: 3

  • While some people have used PDS extensively for years, we know that one application will not work *best* for everyone. Other options to protect your data are listed below. No matter what option you choose, please protect your confidential information - data thieves are plentiful and everywhere!

  •    Logio Secure Password Organizer
  •    Password Manager
  •    eWallet
  •    RoboForm
  •    1Password
  •    KeePass
  •    TrueCrypt

    For more on this topic, see:

  •    NPR's article
  •    NPR's follow-on article

  • If you do try PDS, note that it received most of its testing on Linux and Windows; it has received limited testing on Solaris and Mac. Having a modern JRE (Java 6+) is the only known requirement.

    "I'd rather be lucky than good." -Anonymous     (often heard on a golf course)

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