Some data is sensitive. You would not want your passwords, credit card number, medical history, bank balance etc revealed without your consent. keeping this data private and safe is top priority. Encrypting your data seems like the most sensible thing to do.
Some situations are more complicated than that. Consider for example the results of a clinical trial. The researchers keep all the results data and the subjects backgrounds in the same file. Once the trial is complete the results are sent out for peer review. Sometimes, they are sent to a pharmaceutical company that financed the trial. The researchers want to prevent the leaking of their test subjects private information. Such private information includes social security numbers, names, addresses , irrelevant (to current trial) medical history and more.One option the researchers have is to delete all sensitive information from files they send out. This is efficient - the sensitive information isn't in the files sent out anymore. But what if the recipients send queries back to the researchers - "Tell me subject X blood type? " for instance. How would the researchers re-identify "Patient X" if all sensitive identifying information has been deleted? It is best to send out the data complete with sensitive information but without this information being comprehensible to prying eyes without the authorization to view it. this is exactly the function of encrypting the data. Encrypting the data before publishing it, ensures that while the data is available to whomever has the encryption password , it is as good as deleted to persons who do not have this password.
Will this Add-In securely hide my data?
This Addin does not 'hide' data. Hiding is not secure enough. This Add-In encrypts i.e. processes your value into a new value comprehesible only to authorized user that can decrypt using the correct password.
Why cant I just delete sensitive information before sending out?
Sure, you can delete your data- makes sense. But some use cases require you to share your workbooks. Or receive them back after addition and review. If you delete your data. Its gone. This AddIn provides you with the facilities to avoid data deletions: Encrypt your data in order to hide it, and create lookup tables if you wish to decouple your data from identifiers.
How secure is the encryption algorithm?
We use best of breed crypto primitive coupled with a secure framework: the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) at 256 bit length processed with a randomly generated salt is a recognized industry standard for strong encryption. It was even adopted by the US government. Please read about it in the wikipedia AES encryption entry.
What if i lost my password? Can i decrypt my data? is there a back door?
No. Please keep your passwords safe. We cannot decrypt or break our encryption algorithm. And there is no back door.
You provide a hint feature, that appears as an excel comment. Isn't this a security risk?
Hints provide a personal secret reminder of the password you used. If you use multiple passwords for different ranges, hints help you keep track of the password you used. If you choose to use the hint feature, do it carefully! only use hints that make sense to you i.e. "what is Goldie's favorite food trick?". Don't use hints that are easy to research i.e. "My wife's maiden name"
What versions of Microsoft Excel does this Add-in support?
We tested with version 2003 and up. Please download the Anonymizer add in and test it whether it meets your needs and works as required.
I need a special customizations. Can you change this Add-In to suit my needs?
We provide professional services and would be happy to assist you with any requirement. This Add-In can be tailored to your specific needs, we also provide assistance and consulting if you require a full scope anonymization project including risk metrics, k-anonymity calculation, data risk analytics and more.
I want to purchase and install for many users. Do you have a site license or floating license?
Yes. please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org