Sharing What You Hide
Wikipedia calls steganography the “art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message.” For our purposes, it is a way of hiding data—for example, embedding a Word document inside a JPG image—so that you can send it to people, and if intercepted, no one would suspect that the carrier file contains obscured data. It’s easy to crack if not encrypted, but the file could be just as secure by not calling attention to its self.


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Luckily, there are some software tools that can help you steganographize data. Hide in Picture, QuickStego, or the Mac-only Pict Encrypt let you do exactly that by embedding data into an image file (the receiver will need the same software to decode it). Hide in Pictures goes an extra step, letting you embed entire files. There are other apps that will hide data inside MP3 files and in text, HTML, and PDF files. StegoStick is a freebie that promises it can do almost all of the above, hiding files within files and password protecting the carrier file.

If you want to avoid software altogether, there’s at least one Web service you can use. Ostensibly, Mozaiq is for building photo mosaics. That said, you can go to, place a message into a password-protected image, and then have the carrier file’s receiver get the message by visiting MCITP Training.

Note: If you or anyone else adjust the file other than renaming it—for example, resize, crop, or edit a JPG image containing hidden data—your covert efforts are likely toast.