5 Best Linux Software and Apps with Data Encryption (2023)

Data encryption is a must-have feature in today’s world of cybersecurity. It allows you to encode your data making it unintelligible to someone who doesn’t have authorized access. To be more secure online, it might be a good idea to opt for software that comes with this useful feature by default.

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In this article, you will find a list of the best programs with data encryption that run on Linux. Enjoy your reading!

Table of Contents

1. Signal – Secure Text Messaging and Video Conferencing

Signal is an open-source instant messaging app that allows you to send text and voice messages, share photos, videos, GIFs, and even files for free. The application is not as popular as Telegram or WhatsApp, but most advanced users find it useful because it is focused on offering maximum data privacy.

The built-in security features make it almost impossible for others to intercept your communications, which can happen while using other messaging apps.

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For all communications, the application uses an end-to-end encryption protocol called Signal Protocol and was developed by Open Whispers Systems, a non-profit organization of open-source software developers. All your messages leave your mobile phone already encrypted and are only decrypted when they reach the recipient’s device.

This way, if someone intercepts them along the way, they won’t be able to read them. Unlike other apps such as Telegram, which only apply end-to-end encryption when you open a private conversation, Signal applies encryption by default to all messages and calls.

One of Signal’s most outstanding options is that it allows you to configure the self-destruction of the messages you send. Using this feature, you can set a period of time that can be from 5 seconds to a week so that the sent messages are automatically deleted after that time, which maximizes the security of your online conversations.

Another advantage is that Signal is open source, and the source code of the Signal mobile apps for Android and iOS as well as the desktop clients for Linux, Windows, and macOS can be found on Github. This means that Signal is an app that works transparently and that any developer or user can look at its code for vulnerabilities or bugs.

Install Signal in Linux

The following instructions only work for 64-bit Debian-based Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc.

$ wget -O- https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt/keys.asc | gpg --dearmor > signal-desktop-keyring.gpg$ cat signal-desktop-keyring.gpg | sudo tee -a /usr/share/keyrings/signal-desktop-keyring.gpg > /dev/null$ echo 'deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/signal-desktop-keyring.gpg] https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt xenial main' |\ sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install signal-desktop

2. Nextcloud – Secure File Sharing

Nextcloud is an open-source content collaboration platform that allows you to set up your own personal environment on a server for file sharing and synchronization.

Once installed and configured, it makes it possible to host data and files between different devices (including mobile) and users.

Compared with the proprietary software, the functionality of Nextcloud is not only equivalent to the well-known Google Drive. The platform also offers some features that are very similar to Google Calendar and Google Photos.

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On the official Nextcloud App Store, there are plenty of additional applications that let you bring different kinds of extra features to your Nextcloud platform making it a powerful collaborative environment.

For example, you can add blogs, maps, multimedia players, SMS synchronizers, office suites, Markdown text editors, video conferencing tools, task managers, notes or passwords managers, RSS readers, and more.

Nextcloud provides universal access, both through a web browser and mobile or desktop applications for Linux, Windows, and macOS. You can share the platform with other people by creating multiple accounts, which makes Nextcloud a good option for collaborative work.

Nextcloud not only allows you to encrypt your files in transit when sharing them with other users, for example, via password-protected public links but also makes it possible to encrypt your local storage. Thus, all the data is stored in secure mode and even the administrators cannot read the user’s files.

3. Tor Browser – Secure Internet Surfing

If you are interested in safe and anonymous Internet surfing, you might have heard about the Tor Project. Tor stands for The Onion Router, a global network of servers for anonymous Internet surfing.

Generally speaking, it’s a system based on a layered structure (that’s why it is called “onion“) that allows you to jump from one layer to another, being protected by them and thus improving anonymity or privacy.

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Tor creates a decentralized network across multiple nodes so that traffic can’t be traced back to you. The more users connect to the network, the more protected the information is.

The Tor project offers a special web browser that allows you to connect to the Tor network without the need to install proxy applications or perform any complex configuration. It’s available for Linux, Windows, and macOS and has an Android version for mobile devices.

Tor Browser is very similar to any other web browser and doesn’t require a lot of knowledge to get started. It isolates each web page you visit to make it impossible for third-party trackers and ads to follow your activity. The browser automatically clears all cookies and browsing history when you log out.

When you surf the Internet through Tor Browser, all your traffic is encrypted three times passing over the Tor network. Thus, your online activity always remains private.

4. Tutanota – Secure Email Messaging

Tutanota is a web-based email service from Germany. Under the motto “Secure email for everyone!”, the software puts a strong emphasis on security and privacy above all else.

This includes supporting end-to-end encryption to make interception nearly impossible, protecting your identity by not keeping records or requiring tons of personal information when registering, and providing secure methods for communicating with people who use traditional email providers like Gmail or Outlook.

Using Tutanota, you get a custom email address when you register a free account. Tutanota offers a couple of pricing tariff plans for users, starting at $0 per month and working up from there.

The main difference between the free account and the paid offerings is that the free account has limited users, limited storage, and comes with fewer personalization options.

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When it comes to security, Tutanota has multiple ways to implement encryption. It has end-to-end encryption between Tutanota clients, as well as optional password-protected encryption when a Tutanota user sends an email to someone using another email provider.

Although Tutanota is usually accessed through the web app, there are open-source apps for Android and iOS and a desktop client for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

5. ONLYOFFICE Workspace – Secure Document Collaboration

ONLYOFFICE Workspace is an open-source online office suite that comes with collaborative editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations as well as with a set of web apps for document and file management, projects, CRM, email messaging, calendaring, real-time communication, and social networking (forums, blogs, news broads, wiki databases, polls, etc.).

ONLYOFFICE Workspace uses the HTTPS protocol and JSON Web Token for data protection. It also provides such security features as two-factor authentication, SSO, and automatic and manual data backups.

End-to-end encryption in ONLYOFFICE Workspace is implemented through the Private Rooms feature. It’s a special section in the Documents module where you can create and co-edit documents in real time with safety.

All the documents you keep in a Private Room are encrypted using the AES-256 algorithm. When collaborating online on a document from the Private Room, all the changes are encrypted locally on one end, transferred to the ONLYOFFICE server in an encrypted form, and then decrypted on the other end.

Private Rooms work through ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors and are easy to use. All you need to do is to connect the desktop application to your ONLYOFFICE Workspace instance and start editing your documents as you usually do. There is no need to invent or enter any passwords as the encryption process is automatic.


Please remember that data encryption is just a tool that can help you stay safe online. It doesn’t guarantee the complete privacy of your data if you don’t follow the basic security tips like preventing authorized access to your devices and networks and don’t use special software like password managers and backup applications.

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However, if applied correctly in combination with other tools, data encryption makes things much easier and more secure.


What is the most popular encryption software? ›

Top 10 Encryption Software
  • Progress MOVEit.
  • Tresorit.
  • WatchGuard Network Security.
  • Virtru.
  • Salesforce Security and Privacy.
  • FileVault.
  • ESET PROTECT Advanced.
  • Microsoft BitLocker.
May 5, 2023

What security apps can you use with Linux? ›

10 Essential Privacy and Security Apps for Linux Desktops
  • Tor Browser. If you care about online privacy, you might want to stay away from Chrome. ...
  • Signal. Signal is a cross-platform messaging app that encrypts your conversations. ...
  • Element. ...
  • KeePassXC. ...
  • Authenticator. ...
  • Obfuscate. ...
  • File Shredder. ...
  • VeraCrypt.
Oct 7, 2022

Which encryption used in Linux operating system for security data? ›

The most commonly used encryption is Cryptsetup for the Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) extension, which stores all of the needed setup information for dm-crypt on the disk itself and abstracts partition and key management in an attempt to improve ease of use.

Which software is used for encryption? ›

Best Encryption Software
  • AxCrypt. AxCrypt was designed specifically for individuals and small teams within businesses. ...
  • CryptoExpert. For Windows desktop software security, you won't find better encryption software that CryptoExpert. ...
  • CertainSafe. ...
  • VeraCrypt. ...
  • Folder Lock. ...
  • Boxcryptor. ...
  • NordLocker. ...
  • CryptoForge.

Does Linux have built in encryption? ›

Full Disk Encryption (FDE) is a feature that is built into many GNU/Linux distributions as an option during installation. FDE helps protect confidential information stored on a computer if it is stolen.

Which app has best encryption? ›

  1. 1 Signal. Signal is regarded as one of the most secure messaging apps on the Play Store. ...
  2. 2 Element. 2 Images. ...
  3. 3 Threema. 2 Images. ...
  4. 4 Wire. Wire is another open-source app that offers end-to-end encryption for messages, files, videos, and conference calls. ...
  5. 5 WhatsApp. ...
  6. 6 Wickr Me. ...
  7. 7 Twinme+ ...
  8. 8 Telegram.
Apr 5, 2023

What is the strongest data encryption? ›

AES 256-bit encryption is the strongest and most robust encryption standard that is commercially available today. While it is theoretically true that AES 256-bit encryption is harder to crack than AES 128-bit encryption, AES 128-bit encryption has never been cracked.

How do I encrypt data in Linux? ›

How to Password-Protect Files on Linux
  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Use the cd command and ls command to navigate to the directory containing the file you want to password-protect.
  3. Once inside the directory, run the following command to encrypt your file: gpg -c filename.
Aug 5, 2022

What are three levels of security in Linux? ›

Using kernel security levels, you can decrease the chances that an attacker who gains root access to your computer will be able to hide this fact in your logfiles. Level 1 is used for secure mode. Level 2 is used for "very secure" mode. Level 3 is defined as the "really-really secure mode."

How strong is Linux encryption? ›

By default in a Red Hat 8 Linux environment, LUKS uses a highly secure 512-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) key. Encrypted LUKS volumes contain multiple key slots, allowing users to add backup keys or passphrases, plus use features such as key revocation and protection for bad passphrases using Argon2.

What are the 3 popular forms of encryption? ›

3 Types of Encryption to Protect Your Data
  • Symmetric. The symmetric encryption method uses a single key both to encrypt and decrypt the data. ...
  • Asymmetric. The second major encryption method is asymmetric encryption, also sometimes known as public key encryption. ...
  • Hashing.

What is the best data encryption method? ›

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

The Advanced Encryption Standard is a symmetric encryption algorithm that is the most frequently used method of data encryption globally. Often referred to as the gold standard for data encryption, AES is used by many government bodies worldwide, including in the U.S.

Which application is used to encrypt and decrypt data? ›

Microsoft Base Cryptographic Provider - Win32 apps

It is a general-purpose provider that supports digital signatures and data encryption.

How do I encrypt all files in Linux? ›

That's it.
  1. Open a terminal window and generate a GPG key. ...
  2. Change into the directory housing the file. ...
  3. Encrypt the file. ...
  4. Configure the password cache agent. ...
  5. Install the required software. ...
  6. Open the Nautilus file manager. ...
  7. Select your encryption method. ...
  8. Decrypt the file.
Apr 4, 2023

Should I encrypt my data Linux? ›

You don't want to risk personal data and potentially access to emails and cloud accounts, if your device is stolen. Encrypting your hard disk will block access to these items. Whether files, partitions, or the full disk is encrypted, the contents will be meaningless to anyone without the encryption key.

How Linux OS is more secure? ›

Linux systems are rarely infected by malware such as viruses, worms etc, thereby making it as a very secure OS. As a normal user, we will never come across a situation where Antivirus software is been sold for Linux. This means, Linux is inherently secure and there are many reasons associated with it.

Which Linux is best for secure boot? ›

Linux Secure Boot for Windows
  • CentOS 7.0 and later.
  • Debian 7.0 and later.
  • Fedora version 18 and later.
  • openSUSE version 12.3 nd later.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.0 and later.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12 and later.
  • Ubuntu 14.04 and later.
  • FreeBSD 11.1 and later.

Which of the following is considered as the most secure Linux? ›

Tails is a type of Linux-based operating system that is considered to be one of the most secure operating systems in the world.

How do I secure an application in Linux? ›

7 steps to securing your Linux server
  1. Update your server. ...
  2. Create a new privileged user account. ...
  3. Upload your SSH key. ...
  4. Secure SSH. ...
  5. Enable a firewall. ...
  6. Install Fail2ban. ...
  7. Remove unused network-facing services. ...
  8. 4 open source cloud security tools.
Oct 8, 2019

What is the most unbreakable encryption? ›

There is only one known unbreakable cryptographic system, the one-time pad, which is not generally possible to use because of the difficulties involved in exchanging one-time pads without their being compromised. So any encryption algorithm can be compared to the perfect algorithm, the one-time pad.

What is the most secure encryption today? ›

AES. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the trusted standard algorithm used by the United States government, as well as other organizations.

What text app can t be traced? ›

Text Vault is the best texting app for protecting your real phone number during texting by keeping your personal phone number private and secret. Text to strangers with a disposable temporary anonymous phone number.

Which form of encryption is the most advanced and secure? ›

AES. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the algorithm trusted as the standard by the U.S. Government and numerous organizations. Although it is highly efficient in 128-bit form, AES also uses keys of 192 and 256 bits for heavy-duty encryption purposes.

Which type of encryption is the fastest strongest? ›

Strongest Data Encryption Algorithms
  • TripleDES.
  • Twofish encryption algorithm.
  • Blowfish encryption algorithm.
  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  • IDEA encryption algorithm.
  • MD5 encryption algorithm.
  • HMAC encryption algorithm.
  • RSA security.
Jan 17, 2020

What is more secure than encryption? ›

TL;DR: Encryption is a reversible process, whereas hashed data cannot be decrypted. Salting is a method to make hashing more secure.

Can I encrypt a folder in Linux? ›

There are several ways to encrypt and decrypt directories in Linux, but one popular method is to use the "ecryptfs" utility. This utility allows you to encrypt a directory using the user's login passphrase, and automatically decrypts the directory when the user logs in.

How do I enable full disk encryption in Linux? ›

Select the first option: “Erase disk and install Ubuntu” and click the “Advanced features” button as indicated. Once you click the “Advanced features” button, a pop-up appears. Be sure to select “Use LVM with new Ubuntu installation” and the “Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security” options. Then click “OK.”

Which file has encrypted password in Linux? ›

A shadow password file, also known as /etc/shadow, is a system file in Linux that stores encrypted user passwords and is accessible only to the root user, preventing unauthorized users or malicious actors from breaking into the system.

Which is more secure Linux or Windows? ›

Linux has segmented working environments which secure it from the attack of virus. However, Windows OS is not much segmented and thus it is more vulnerable to threats. Another significant reason for Linux being more secure is that Linux has very few users when compared to Windows.

What are the 4 forms of security? ›

There are four main types of security: debt securities, equity securities, derivative securities, and hybrid securities, which are a combination of debt and equity.

What are the security groups in Linux? ›

A security group acts as a virtual firewall for your EC2 instances to control incoming and outgoing traffic. Inbound rules control the incoming traffic to your instance, and outbound rules control the outgoing traffic from your instance. When you launch an instance, you can specify one or more security groups.

Which is the most hackable Linux? ›

11 Best Linux Distros For Hacking And Penetration Testing in 2023
  1. Kali Linux. Kali Linux is the most popular Linux distro for hacking and penetration testing among information security professionals. ...
  2. BackBox. ...
  3. Parrot Security OS. ...
  4. BlackArch. ...
  5. DEFT Linux. ...
  6. Bugtraq. ...
  7. Samurai Web Testing Framework. ...
  8. Pentoo Linux.

Is full disk encryption enough? ›

Disk encryption protects information stored on a disk drive—such as an external hard drive, laptop, or even enterprise storage—by preventing the drive from being accessed without the proper password or authentication credentials. While it is an effective way to protect data, disk encryption alone is simply not enough.

Does Linux encrypt RAM? ›

Sure. You can encrypt whatever you like in RAM, just like you encrypt everything else. The more interesting quesstion is "where are the keys". You can just leave the keys in RAM as well or give them to the OS which will also store them in RAM.

What are 3 popular encryption systems used over the Web? ›

What are the most popular encryption systems used over the Web? The dominant Web encryption systems include SSL, 3DES, and PGP. Alternate answers could include RSA, AES, and RC6.

What are the two 2 methods of encryption? ›

There are two types of encryption in widespread use today: symmetric and asymmetric encryption.

What is 3 key triple data encryption? ›

The Triple DES encryption process

Triple DES operates in three steps: Encrypt-Decrypt-Encrypt (EDE). It works by taking three 56-bit keys (K1, K2 and K3) known as a key bundle and encrypting first with K1, decrypting next with K2 and encrypting a last time with K3.

What is an example of data encryption? ›

Encryption is an important way for individuals and companies to protect sensitive information from hacking. For example, websites that transmit credit card and bank account numbers encrypt this information to prevent identity theft and fraud.

How do I encrypt my data? ›

  1. If you haven't already, set a lock screen PIN, pattern, or password. ...
  2. Open your device's Settings app.
  3. Tap Security & Location.
  4. Under "Encryption," tap Encrypt phone or Encrypt tablet. ...
  5. Carefully read the information shown. ...
  6. Tap Encrypt phone or Encrypt tablet.
  7. Enter your lock screen PIN, pattern, or password.

What is better than 256-bit encryption? ›

AES-128 is faster and more efficient and less likely to have a full attack developed against it (due to a stronger key schedule). AES-256 is more resistant to brute force attacks and is only weak against related key attacks (which should never happen anyway).

What is the easiest encryption algorithm? ›

Asymmetric Encryption

As it uses only one key, it's a simpler method of encryption.

What is the simplest encryption algorithm? ›

Caesar's cypher is the simplest encryption algorithm.

How to decrypt encrypted data in Linux? ›

In order to decrypt an encrypted file on Linux, you have to use the “gpg” command with the “-d” option for “decrypt” and specify the “. gpg” file that you want to decrypt. Again, you will be probably be prompted with a window (or directly in the terminal) for the passphrase.

How does Linux encrypt passwords? ›

Most Unicies (and Linux is no exception) primarily use a one-way encryption algorithm, called DES (Data Encryption Standard) to encrypt your passwords. This encrypted password is then stored in (typically) /etc/passwd (or less commonly) /etc/shadow.

How to encrypt private key in Linux? ›

How Do I Encrypt an Unencrypted SSH Key?
  1. Make note of the private SSH key you wish to encrypt. For this example, let's assume it's in /Users/user/. ssh/id_rsa.
  2. Open the terminal.
  3. Type ssh-keygen -p -f /Users/user/. ssh/id_rsa and press enter.
Apr 27, 2023

What is the best way to encrypt folders in Linux? ›

How to encrypt a folder in Linux
  1. Step 1: Install Gnome Encfs Manager. Use the following command to install the updated Gnome Encfs Manager. ...
  2. Step 2: Create a new encrypted directory. ...
  3. Step 3: Mount directory. ...
  4. Step 4: Unmounting an encrypted folder.

Does encrypting Linux slow it down? ›

It will add a little CPU load when reading or writing data (every block you read or write is encrypted or decrypted on the fly), but it is negligible (you can check for example this Phoronix article with benchmarks).

Is full disk encryption overkill? ›

In fact, it only hurts: if a user's security procedures are too onerous, that user will eventually cut corners. Simply put, full-disk encryption is overkill for the use case you most likely have.

Why do security professionals prefer Linux? ›

Linux was designed around a strongly integrated command line interface. While you might be familiar with Windows' Command Prompt, imagine one where you can control and customize any and all aspects of your operating system. This gives hackers and Linux more control over their system.

Why is Linux better for cybersecurity? ›

Security: Linux is considered to be more secure than other operating systems, such as Windows, because it is less susceptible to viruses and other forms of malware. This makes it an attractive option for cybersecurity experts who need to protect sensitive information and networks from cyber threats.

Which OS is highly secure and why? ›

One can argue that Linux and Android are the most secure, because they have carefully designed security procedures. Linux is often operated by professionals, so in practice it may often be more secure.

Which encryption method is most widely used and why? ›

5. Which encryption method is most widely used and why? AES and 3DES are the most widely used encryption method as it is strong and cannot be broken easily. The encryption of each data block happens with random salt making it complex and adding another layer of security to it.

What is the most popular text encryption? ›

The Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) encryption algorithm is currently the most widely used public key algorithm. With RSA, the public or the private key can be used to encrypt a message; whichever key is not used for encryption becomes the decryption key.

Is BitLocker the best encryption? ›

Microsoft BitLocker is the #1 ranked solution in top Endpoint Encryption tools and top Mobile Data Protection tools. PeerSpot users give Microsoft BitLocker an average rating of 8.6 out of 10. Microsoft BitLocker is most commonly compared to ESET Endpoint Encryption: Microsoft BitLocker vs ESET Endpoint Encryption.

What is the safest encryption method? ›

One of the most secure encryption types, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is used by governments and security organizations as well as everyday businesses for classified communications.

What is the safest most encrypted messaging app? ›

According to our privacy experts, Signal is probably the most secure messaging app. Its open-source encryption protocol has become the industry standard for end-to-end message and voice encryption. And Signal is funded by donations and grants, so it isn't incentivized to monetize data.

What are the biggest encryption keys? ›

256-bit keys are the longest allowed by AES. Two types of encryption algorithms can be used by the encryption key server: symmetric algorithms and asymmetric algorithms.

What is the safest encrypted chat? ›

Best 10 Secure Private Messaging Apps in 2023
  • Signal – Private Messenger for Web.
  • iMessage – Best Secure Chat App for Mobile.
  • Telegram – Most Secure Chatting App.
  • Threema – Top Encrypted Messaging App.
  • WhatsApp – Most Secure Messaging Platform.
  • Wickr Me – Most Secured Private Messaging App.
  • Viber – Secure Messaging Software.
May 5, 2023

Is there anything better than 256-bit encryption? ›

The AES-256 key schedule transforms a 256-bit secret key into fourteen 128-bit rounds keys. Of the two, the AES-128 key schedule is actually more secure.

What is the disadvantage of BitLocker? ›

Cons of BitLocker

First, BitLocker is only available for Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions, so if you have Windows 10 Home, you cannot use it. Second, BitLocker may slow down your system, especially if you have an older or low-end device, as it uses CPU and disk resources to encrypt and decrypt data.


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