How secure are your digital notes? Exploring encryption methods

Digitally than ever sensitive information that once only existed on paper is now typed and swiped across our devices daily. Private notes, personal journal entries, confidential work documents, and valuable creative content are just some of the data we entrust to our digital spaces. With great convenience comes great vulnerability. Hackers have proven adept at infiltrating devices and online accounts to steal private information. It only takes one breach to expose your most personal data to the world.

Device encryption

Start by encrypting your physical devices including phones, laptops, and backup drives that contain sensitive note files. Device encryption utilizes algorithms to digitally scramble all content at rest when powered down. Upon restart, your password acts as the key to unlock encryption and access device content and apps. Leaving devices encrypted ensures that lost or stolen items reveal private unsecured files to thieves. Device encryption also protects against unauthorized reboots, restricting offline physical access attempts.

Storage encryption 

They are encrypted cloud storage and drives where safenote files are kept. Open source programs like Vera Crypt allow you to create encrypted digital storage containers that mount as virtual encrypted disks on your system, protecting designated file directories you select.  Encrypted containers or partitioned volumes require your password or key file to unlock and view protected files encrypted storage when not actively accessing your private data. Encrypted cloud storage like Mega also uses end-to-end client-side encryption so only you hold keys to encrypted notes.

Encrypted notes apps

Specialized encrypted note apps offer quick security for storing and editing private text on the go. Apps like CryptPad, Joplin, Standard Notes, and Microsoft OneNote enable note encryption access permissions and even self-destructing auto-delete functions. Some encrypted note apps integrate across devices, syncing securely via cloud encryption so notes remain available but confidential across linked tablets, phones, and computers. Review app access controls, cloud security protocols, and password protection before selecting an encrypted notes system.

Document encryption

Going beyond notes, encrypt word processing files like Word docs and Excel spreadsheet using Office suite encryption functionality. Password protects documents at the file level so only authorized collaborators decrypt and view content using shared passwords.  Zip encrypted document files together for an added layer of security. Encrypted WinZip, 7-Zip, and BitLocker To Go integrate directly with Windows File Explorer for drag-and-drop document encryption using AES standards or longer bit-key protocols for stronger protection against offline brute force decryption attempts.

Code based ciphers

For an extra clandestine step, encrypt notes behind a cipher code of symbols, glyphs, altered word spellings, or mixed-alphabet alignments. Develop unique cipher keys and evolve codes over time. Share cipher translations separately from encrypted note files as an extra secrecy safeguard.   Historic cipher codes range from substitution alphabets like the Ceasar Shift used by Julius Ceasar to rearrange letters based on number shifts, to the famed German Enigma machine which swapped letters randomly based on complex mechanical rotor settings. Modern encryption apps emulate these cipher algorithms too.


Taking encryption further is a tactic known as steganography, the method of hiding encrypted text within image and audio files. Encrypted messages embed unseen into the 1s and 0s of media file code, fully concealed to anyone without decryption functionality. Use stenography apps to bury private notes virtually undetectable within otherwise harmless media like family photos or MP3 song files.

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