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Wegs

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Want to have stuff on your computer that you don't want your parents to see? If so, read on. This is a tutorial on hiding folders. This tutorial will tell you how to hide folders in 2 different ways.

1st Option:
This will make folders hidden and unclickable until you unhide it.

Step 1-Create the folder you want to use and name it.
Step 2-Create a shortcut. type "cmd /k" (without quotes. this goes for all typing situations) in the first blank.
Step 3-Click "Next"
Step 4-Name the shortcut (this particular shortcut will be for hiding the folder, so name it something like "Hide")
Step 5-Right click on the shortcut and hit "properties"
Step 6-Make sure you are under the shorcut tab.
Step 7-In the blank titled "Target", type in "C:\Windows\System32\attrib.exe your folder name here +s +h"
Step 8-In the "Start In:" blank, type in the location of whatever your folder is in. (If your folder's location is "C:\user\admin\documents\my private folder", then type in "C:\user\admin\documents")
Step 9-Click "Apply" and "Ok"
Step 10-Copy the shortcut.
Step 11-This will be your shortcut for revealing the folder once it is hidden, so name it as such.
Step 12-Go to properties, shortcut like last time.
Step 13- Change "C:\Windows\System32\attrib.exe tbdl +s +h" to "C:\Windows\System32\attrib.exe tbdl -s -h"
Step 14-Test it out.
Step 15-Change the logos if you want.


2nd Option
This will make a folder that just appears to not exist. It will be fully clickable, and an accidental mouse-over could reveal it.

Step 1-Create the folder. When you have to name it, hold Alt and type on the numpad "0160". If you did it correctly, there will be no name.
Step 2-Right click and go to properties, and customize.
Step 3-Click "Change icon".
Step 4-A popup of small icons will appear. scroll slowly to the right until you see a logo, with 3 blank areas under it.
Step 5-Click any of those 3 blank logos.
Step 6-Click "Apply" then "Ok"
Step 7-The folder should disappear. Feel free to move it around to a corner.

There you go! You now have one of 2 hidden folders! For added security (i'm paranoid :smile:) do both of these, and place the hide and unhide shortcuts from the first option into your invisible folder. Sorry for the long post!
 
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FullMetal

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This is pretty cool for people who don't have their own computer. Thanks for the information.

On a different note, Wegs, you should really create a thread in the introduction section of the forum so we can get to know you a little better.

Anyway, welcome to ADISC! :)

FullMetal
 

PostTenebrasLux

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You guys should put something together for the answers wiki on this topic. I just checked and it looks like there's nothing up there about this yet. This could go right after how to create a virtual computer.
 

Wegs

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Error404: I'm new and haven't really scanned through the forums. It took me a while to find all that out and I wanted to try to make it easier for others.

PostTnebrasLux: I didn't know there was a wiki.
EDIT: I just checked it out, but I can't find any way to put something up.

Frillyfox: I don't really have that stuff.
 
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Fire2box

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thumb drives are pretty cheap and easy to get. Anyways I am glad I haven't had to do this sort of stuff for a few years now. Though I do have to while I am at my mom's, mainly for my little brother's sake. My mom and "stepdad" wouldn't open a link or file if they had a hint of whats behind it.
 
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BabyWolf

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#1: Bad idea. You can enable viewing hidden files and folders in Windows in just a few seconds, and any parent who's read even the most basic guide to snooping will know about this. Naming it something incriminating is also a VERY bad idea.

#2: This can break stuff, and is also very easy to find.

A BETTER idea: create a folder somewhere inside the Windows directory to hide your stuff. Name it something subtle that sounds like it belongs there. The downside: if you ever reinstall Windows (even without reformatting), you'll lose it all. Another option: within the Program Files folder of a program that absolutely will never be uninstalled (Microsoft Office is a good choice; just be sure to bury it deeper here, as the Clipart directory can attract unwanted attention).

The best solution is an encrypted jumpdrive. Many jumpdrives come with encryption capabilities on them as a standard feature, and if anyone asks why it's encrypted, you can just say, "I got it and didn't know. I HATE that feature. It's so annoying," or "I don't want people at school copying my work." Jumpdrives are so easy to hide, too, that you shouldn't have a problem with anyone finding it.
 

Wegs

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Fire2box: They aren't easy to get in my town. I haven't seen them in any stores that I'm able to get to.


#1: Bad idea. You can enable viewing hidden files and folders in Windows in just a few seconds, and any parent who's read even the most basic guide to snooping will know about this. Naming it something incriminating is also a VERY bad idea.

#2: This can break stuff, and is also very easy to find.

A BETTER idea: create a folder somewhere inside the Windows directory to hide your stuff. Name it something subtle that sounds like it belongs there. The downside: if you ever reinstall Windows (even without reformatting), you'll lose it all. Another option: within the Program Files folder of a program that absolutely will never be uninstalled (Microsoft Office is a good choice; just be sure to bury it deeper here, as the Clipart directory can attract unwanted attention).

The best solution is an encrypted jumpdrive. Many jumpdrives come with encryption capabilities on them as a standard feature, and if anyone asks why it's encrypted, you can just say, "I got it and didn't know. I HATE that feature. It's so annoying," or "I don't want people at school copying my work." Jumpdrives are so easy to hide, too, that you shouldn't have a problem with anyone finding it.


First of all, they can name the files what they want. I just used the "Unlock" and "Lock" as examples to make it easier. I would hope that if someone made a folder like this, they would at least have the common sense to bury it somewhere in their computer where no one is likely to look, even if they found the 2 shortcuts and were on to you.

Also, I had never heard of an encrypted jump-drive, but it sounds expensive, and I don't have money to spend. Also, 85% of people with a computer know what encrypted means, and even if they didn't, they would once they found the download page for it because every download page I have ever been to describes what the download is.

You would also have to know what your looking for to get something like that, so i don't believe your "i got it and i didn't know" excuse would work. As for your "I didn't want people at school copying my work" excuse, unless your classmates are proven hackers that can somehow reach into your computer, I doubt highly that excuse would work.

Also, how would my technique break stuff? The first method only uses the command prompt to apply attributes to a folder, and the second method just gives a folder a blank name and icon. I would really like to know how those break things, and depending on the skills of the person who is hiding his folders, it can be hard to find.
 
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Fire2box

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Wegs

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The only store I would be able to get to is an A&P a short walk away. I also don't have any money to buy it, so my parents wouldn't bring me. Thanks anyway though.
 
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I already posted this.

Also, I had never heard of an encrypted jump-drive, but it sounds expensive, and I don't have money to spend. Also, 85% of people with a computer know what encrypted means, and even if they didn't, they would once they found the download page for it because every download page I have ever been to describes what the download is.

TrueCrypt runs quite nicely on a USB thumb/jump/micro/whatever-drive, and a volume can be steganographically nested inside another to allow plausible deniability.

Look around the Wiki; I'm sure that this information is out there. Either way, encryption on a removable device is a much better idea than just hiding a folder in user-space. Plausible deniability just makes it that much sweeter.
 

Wegs

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I've never heard of TrueCrypt. Also, I mainly made this topic for people who don't want to download anything. Encryption is better if you are willing to download, but if parents find it, it could raise some annoying or problematic questions.
 
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I've never heard of TrueCrypt. Also, I mainly made this topic for people who don't want to download anything. Encryption is better if you are willing to download, but if parents find it, it could raise some annoying or problematic questions.

What do you mean "don't want to download anything"? If you have a hidden file on a machine to hide stuff you got online you downloaded files. A large number of thumbdrives also come with encryption of password protection built in. The last two I bought had it and I never wanted it or realized they would until they came. It is also as simple as saying "I keep some important personal information that I don't want people to read if I lose this."

Both of the methods you used leave the files potentially searchable. Security through obscurity is bad because it invites people to stumble onto stuff. The assumption no one will find it is how people always get caught. You can get a thumbdrive that does simple encryption for less than 30 dollars.
 

Wegs

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I don't have any money to spend on thumb drives, I also have no stores that sell them within my range. My computer has a slow download time, as I'm sure is the same with some others, so I don't want to have to download anything. And once again, if you properly hide your folders containing your files, you won't have to worry about people stumbling on them.
 

dampatnight

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You dont even need money, Truecrypt is for free. Yes it could raise questions if your parents knew what it is, but
1. it probably wont if you think they are fooled by that folder hiding
2. just hide truecrypt
3. there is no way of reading the data without the password

and by spending a few bucks on a thumb drive you would even avoid the chance they find it on the computer.

btw: dont use unencrypted thumbdrives for such stuff.
 

Wegs

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You dont even need money, Truecrypt is for free. Yes it could raise questions if your parents knew what it is, but
1. it probably wont if you think they are fooled by that folder hiding
2. just hide truecrypt
3. there is no way of reading the data without the password

and by spending a few bucks on a thumb drive you would even avoid the chance they find it on the computer.

btw: dont use unencrypted thumbdrives for such stuff.

I'm getting a little annoyed by the fact that people seem to be ignoring the fact that not all TBs or DLs have any money to spend, much rather $30 or more, or may not be able to get encrypted thumb drives. I posted this as a free and quick way of hiding things, if only until you can get a thumb drive. Also, if my parents AREN'T fooled by hiding folder, then how would hiding a program instead of a folder stump them? And yes, they don't know the password, but they might think that is you are encrypting something, it must be so horrible that you don't want anyone seeing it. That isn't a thing you want your parents thinking. They could end up severely punishing you until you tell them the password. I don't want to have to make a choice to either be punished severely or tell them the password and have them find out I'm a TB.
 

Fire2box

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I'm getting a little annoyed by the fact that people seem to be ignoring the fact that not all TBs or DLs have any money to spend, much rather $30 or more, or may not be able to get encrypted thumb drives.

And I am getting a little annoyed that people can't take a suggestion as a suggestion. Really, making money is rather easy in the world, hell getting money is rather easy at your age.

Not to mention you looked over the fact it's free to encrypt something. Just remind me to never try and help ya again, thanks.
 
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BabyWolf

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I'm getting a little annoyed by the fact that people seem to be ignoring the fact that not all TBs or DLs have any money to spend, much rather $30 or more, or may not be able to get encrypted thumb drives. I posted this as a free and quick way of hiding things, if only until you can get a thumb drive. Also, if my parents AREN'T fooled by hiding folder, then how would hiding a program instead of a folder stump them? And yes, they don't know the password, but they might think that is you are encrypting something, it must be so horrible that you don't want anyone seeing it. That isn't a thing you want your parents thinking. They could end up severely punishing you until you tell them the password. I don't want to have to make a choice to either be punished severely or tell them the password and have them find out I'm a TB.

And I'm getting a little annoyed that you posted bad advice that's going to get people caught, and then got defensive when I called you on it. And then rather rudely rejected other, better means of protecting your stuff. Ignoring this even further, you even went so far as to put it in the Wiki despite multiple people having told you it's not effective and a bad idea (it's been removed).

If you want something hidden, use encryption and hide it somewhere nobody is likely to find it. The encryption software can have its shortcuts deleted so you have to access it directly (parents won't know it's been installed). Various things can be done to hide its presence in the first place. Fact is, don't EVER put anything directly in your account. That's the first place they'll look, and the first place any snooping software they've installed will look.
 
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Also, if my parents AREN'T fooled by hiding folder, then how would hiding a program instead of a folder stump them? And yes, they don't know the password, but they might think that is you are encrypting something, it must be so horrible that you don't want anyone seeing it. That isn't a thing you want your parents thinking. They could end up severely punishing you until you tell them the password.

You seem not to understand the concept of plausible deniability.

Let me explain it very briefly below in-context:
  1. You create a large "outer" container. Call it something innocuous and "hide" things there that are inconseuqential. For example, call it "schoolwork" and put homework there.
  2. You create a hidden "inner" container. This is where you put your "no-no" stuff. It's hidden until you enter ITS correct password against the outer container.
  3. Think of it as a letter-within-a-letter, where the inner letter is only visible if you know the password.

Truecrypt has covered precisely the scenario you present above.

I recently picked up an 8GB thumb drive for something like $14 at a well-known big-box store (Sam Walton's Mart).

There are ways to do security "right" and ways to do it "wrong." You have presented a highly obtuse method that depends upon obscurity to be effective. I could pull your files off your machine post-haste.

And, yes, I have done computer forensics work in the past.

The "right" way to do this has been presented in a format that allows for both free (download only) and paid-for (with an external USB drive) methods. Plausible deniability is inbuilt. Truecrypt is in the Wiki (I'm pretty sure I covered this over there) and is very simple to use as well as being cross-platform.

I suppose where I'm going is, thank you for the hint, but it's not something that anyone with any sort of choice in the matter would want to follow. If you're very selective about what you download - given a speed bottleneck - then it may be worth downloading 4MB or so to preserve your existing data, rather than downloading 4MB of text, images, or web pages.
 
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