As a side note: It's interesting that I can't get in to Dropbox on my iPad without entering a four-digit passcode.
Not particularly. The mobiles apps provide access to your files. If you can't open the app then you can't open your files (the passcode is optional, by the way). The desktop client does not provide access to your files. It facilitates the sync process. Even if the client were locked down, your files are still accessible through your computer's file system.
If you want to protect the files on the computer, then use the security features that already exist in your operating system.
Perhaps it's not interesting to you, but as a not-too-sophisticated computer user, it's interesting to me.
In any event, I've read the comments about using the security features that exist in my operating system, etc. ad nauseam. There are several applications I use on my computer every day that require me to use a login name and password to access the application and/or files. All I'm hoping for is that Dropbox could/would implement something similar for the desktop application.
All I'm hoping for is that Dropbox could/would implement something similar for the desktop application.
What we're trying to convey is that it wouldn't matter. Applying a password to the Dropbox application won't matter because you don't use the application to access the files. The files are on your computer, not within the Dropbox application. The Dropbox application could be locked down completely and your files would still be accessible because they're just in a folder like any other on your computer.
To secure local copy of Dropbox files you can use third-party security software. For example, Hide Folders. Read tutorial http://fspro.net/hide-folders/protect-dropbox.html
I think it is a good aproach and I use it. Local copy of my files are invisible until I run app and enter correct password.
There are few 3rd party programmes that can encrypt your desktop files - Boxcryptor, Safemonk and few other mentioned here. I've tried only Boxcryptor, as it was also available in Win Phone.
Basically both Veracrypt and Boxcyptor will create a virtual drive, you place you files there and encryption ensues.
The advantage of VC is that when you log out, only a single filename of that virtual drive exist in the system, the rest of your files (including DB) is absent. The disadvantage is that in a networked situation, when you open VC, the files is 'visible' to other network (I'm no networking expert, perhaps this can be changed in ur networking setting?)
For BC, it will link with DB and encrypt files before uploading. The advantage is that even if in networked environment, the files may be visible to other but cannot be opened in other networked PC. The disadvantage is that when you log out, those folders & filenames are still there, just cant be opened until you log in BC again (but it will still raise curiosity... isnt it?). In free version the filenames are still there, in paid version the filenames are jumbled up. &BC can also be used for others Onedrive, Google drive etc.
The problem is with these 2 is if you share ONE computer with your colleague, then all those files are nakedly visible until you log out.... in which I would welcome any suggestion.
For the ones who say the simple solution is to control access to the user account is missing one key fact. Files on your system often require different levels of security and locking everyone else out is not a universal solution for all situations. For example, my workstation is often shared by co-workers. They require access to 99% of the files on my system but I don't want them seeing/accessing my personal password database, therefore I have a program that secures them and only permits access with authentication. I don't have to worry when co-workers use my machine that they will gain access to my passwords. Similarly it would be good if Dropbox would make it easy to lock certain folders that reside on your local system. A simple password to see and edit the contents from any Dropbox client, whether it's the desktop, mobile or browser. Yes, I do understand that file encryption would be involved to prevent access to these folders when running the Mac in Target Disc mode.
@Mike T. If you want the folder locked out, then find some application that does it.
Dropbox is not in control of the folder, it simply syncs the files it finds in there with those in the cloud, and vise versa, it is NOT a cloud drive, so is not in control of the access to the files, anymore than photoshop controls access to saved photoshop files.
It will always show up on your desktop, but in our employment our employees each have their own desktop user logins to get into their desktop and shared files of Dropbox and if they share a computer, one logs out the other logs into "their own" desktop (on the same computer) to access the same company shared files and Dropbox.
The way that we have eliminated "personal" folders to not be seen... is when you are at your desktop login, go to Dropbox online, logging in with your Dropbox.com login and view the shared company folder... DO NOT open the shared folder, at the top of the screen you can create a new folder (outside of the shared folder) see screen shot below. This one will only be seen by you on both, your .com login and on your desktop login folders...
I completely understand that Dropbox accesses a generic Mac OS folder and simply synchronizes the contents with its system and your other Dropbox clients. The only problem I see with locking down a generic desktop folder with your own software is that the other Dropbox platforms such as mobile devices and web browsers would need the ability to unlock the folders when you were away from the computer. Dropbox should create a proprietary secure folder that can be accessed from all its client types once you've password protected it. So, normal folders stay normal but password protected ones become Dropbox Secure Folders and only accessible by Dropbox clients.