I'd like to encrypt a folder of many spatial datasets (rasters and shapes) because my office computer is shared with others. I've never used this kind of security but I think I should preserve my data from other guys.

So, my questions are:

  1. If I encrypt a folder with password access, e.g. using VeraCrypt (suggestions?), how will GIS programs (QGIS, SAGA and R) handle internally opening files, geoprocessing and so on? Is this possible? Do I have to change permissions in the folder? What should I do to allow GIS programs to use that data and, on the other hand, keep safe from other people?

  2. Is it possible to put that folder in cloud, to automatically upload the data and synchronize with another computer/backup?

  • Hi, can you provide us with your operating system?
    – raphael
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 16:52
  • Windows 7 professional 64 bits. Commented May 8, 2016 at 5:43
  • FYI, you could create a RAM partition that would presumably be wiped upon a reboot. The link is to AskUbuntu but there's an example that it's feasible in Windows 7
    – raphael
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 22:05

1 Answer 1


To answer both your questions.

  1. It depends on your OS and the encryption software you use. I use Linux and have a LUKS encrypted external HDD. Whenever I plug the drive in, it decrypts the contents and I can access them normally. Note depending on what you use, you may have to decrypt your files to a local folder before you can access them with your GIS software. This gets tricky, because your new local copy is no longer encrypted, and you'll have to be careful about how well you delete the unencrypted files.

  2. Absolutely not a problem. Depending on how well you trust your cloud-syncing provider you might want to be doing this for everything already.


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