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Beating Bots, Spies & Cock-ups - Safely & securely send files and documents

Keep your personal and business details private.

Credit card details, address, phone, confidential business information, Word documents, Excel worksheets, PowerPoint slides or any other files.

Mostly using tools you already have or are freely available.

suits Windows and Mac, Office 365, Office 2021, LTSC & 2019, Office 2016 and earlier

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We all send personal information over the Internet, credit cards, social security, birth date, account details and a lot more.  Most do that not knowing it’s visible to criminals, spies or just accidental viewing.

  • Microsoft 365 / Office 365, Office 2016 for Window and Mac.
  • Office 2021, LTSC 2021 and Office 2019.
  • Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7.
  • MacOS, iPad, iPhone.
  • OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive
  • Full Color
  • over 215 pages
  • Fast find, table of contents with links
  • PDF format compatible with Windows, Mac, Apple and Android tablets and pretty much anything else including, of course, iPads!

Even the smallest one-person business shares private information over the Internet. That can be customer details or business information that would be useful to criminals, business rivals and more.

The Internet wasn’t designed for security and privacy.  Even today most programs focus on ease-of-use with customer privacy added on later.  It’s up to us to make sure our information is kept private. No-one will do it for us.

Beating Bots, Spies & Cock-ups shows how keep your personal and business details private. Mostly using tools you already have or are freely available.

Anyone’s information can be copied and misused. Don’t think you’re too small, insignificant or innocent to matter.

for Windows and Mac, Microsoft 365, Office 2021 or 2019, Office 2016 and earlier


Hackers and criminals (“Bots”) take personal information, combine those details with other information and sell it.  Identify theft is huge business.  A single stolen credit card number (with expiry and CVV) can sell for $5,000 on the black market.


Government agencies (“Spies”) around the world harvest information from the Internet.  Emails, web traffic, files on cloud storage and more is monitored. The sad truth is that powers to spy on the Internet are not limited to terrorism.  They can and do spy for any reason, often without a warrant or notice to you.


Accidental intrusion is also possible (“Cock-ups”).  Someone might not be trying to snoop on you but might come across information they aren’t mean to see.

Beating Bots, Spies & Cock-ups has step-by-step advice for

  • Securely sending information, files and documents
  • Protecting files that you have to send by unsafe ways.
  • Keeping your files and documents under size limits.
  • Splitting large files so they can be sent.
  • Securing files shared over cloud services like OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive.


Beating Bots, Spies & Cock-ups considers the people who get your secure files.  It’s no good sending an encrypted file if the receiver doesn’t know how to open it!

Windows and Mac

Window and Mac users get a lot from Beating Bots, Spies & Cock-ups.

Most secure sending methods work for either Mac or Windows.

We note the options that are limited to either Windows or Mac completely or need extra tools to bridge the Microsoft/Apple divide.

Quick Start

The first chapter of Beating Bots, Spies & Cock-ups gets you secure sending quickly.  How to safely send file and documents by various means.

Then there’s detailed chapters on each type file exchange method, how to secure it and how the receiver can open and use the files you send.

  • Quick Start
    • Fast start to secure sending files or messages.
    • Instant messaging, email, cloud storage, memory stick.
    • Credit cards and other vital info.
  • Direct Messaging
    • WhatsApp, Signal, Skype and Facebook Messenger
    • Which messenger is the most private?
    • Send any file, not just pictures, music or documents.
    • Some aren’t secure unless you know the right options.
  • Microsoft Office documents
    • Document password encryption in Windows and Mac
    • Unlocking a document
    • Beware the Office sharing options.
  • Online meetings and calls
    • Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, Signal, Facetime, Viber
    • Useful extras, virtual backgrounds, blurring, cameras & smartphones as webcams, live video in a PowerPoint presentation.
  • PDF’s with password lock
    • Making a PDF with a password lock
    • Easy on a Mac, not so easy with Windows.
  • Email
    • The least secure sending option!
    • How to secure email.
  • Drives and USB memory sticks
    • Protecting files saved on portable storage
    • Encrypting the entire drive with Windows or Mac.
  • Wiping drives and erasing files
    • Wiping, erasing or shredding
    • Erasing individual files or folders
    • Wiping entire drive
    • Wiping free disk space
    • Check that drive is wiped.
  • Cloud Storage
    • OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive.
    • OneDrive Personal Vault
    • Securing online files
    • Sharing options
  • Secure Containers
    • Bundle many files into a single encrypted file for transport.
    • Splitting a large file into smaller pieces that fit under a sending limit.
    • RAR, ZIP and Virtual Drives.
    • Using Office documents as a secure container for other files.
  • Nerd Tricks
    • Extra tricks that us nerds use to secure information
    • Renaming files, splitting into smaller parts and self-extracting archives.
    • Password tips
      • Simple ideas to making up your passwords
      • Really sneaky tricks for super-secret passwords.

Finally, there’s some Geeky Tech Talk more info on encryption standards and security technologies.