Introduction

Safety, security and protection... what are these all about? Let's start with a brief analogy, think of your home. Security is like the locks on your doors and windows; it is important to secure your home. This prevents most unwanted visitors from violating your space, your home – they need your permission to enter.
Sadly, some people may lack the scruples to honour your domain, and might break in without your permission. How might you protect your belongings? With a safe. Some of us rely on the locks and a safe to provide a level of protection for our belongings.

The digital world is similar. We need network specialists to provide good locks for the doors and windows on servers (known as ports). When a hacker breaches a server, they break in through one these ports, and take files from the server. Today people rely on encryption to protect data – encryption is like a safe that holds your data.
The problem here is that if a thief takes the "safe" with the data from the server, they have all the time in the world to break it open.

Simply put, this isn't good enough, and that is where CORA comes in to play!

Using CORA help

CORA help files, including Getting started and tutorials will use this same online, client-side presentation interface.

The Information is presented (except in small viewing devices, such as a smartphone) along the left side of the browser and the Topics are "Affixed" to the right side of the browser.

If your viewing width is less than 768px then the Affixed Topics are hidden and the Information is presented on its own.

Thanks to jQuery and Bootstrap, these help files should be continuously readable and usable on any device or browser.

The topic, or sub-topic you are viewing will be reflected in the color and marker shown in the Affixed Topic section.

You may jump quickly to any topic by clicking/pressing on it in this Affixed Topic pane.


When you link to a particular topic, through an internal hyperlink, or the Affixed topic pane, an entry in the history chain is created and available for you to quickly move back and forth using the arrows at the bottom of the page.

In this example, the Next icon is disabled, meaning that you are at the right end of the history chain; there aren't any other topics that have been linked to after this current topic.


Feedback

You may provide context based feedback by selecting the Feedback Button in the top navigation bar. The current topic you are viewing will be placed into the Feedback message automatically, allowing you to post your question, concern, or suggestion.

Your name (min 3 characters), email address and feedback (min 9 characters) are mandatory fields .


Context Order Rendering Algorithm

CORA is an acronym. CORA takes parts of the original file and breaks them up into different pieces (containers). More importantly, these fragments are chosen in a context based manner so that, if someone steels one of them, they don't have enough to put "anything together".
Imagine encrypting a file, then breaking it into two pieces... this isn't context based! Each piece can provide "too much information" about the original file.
With CORA, we don't want the thieves to know anything, not even a single word from the original file!

CORA has been in design and development for more than 5 years. It has matured to a much more robust and dependable implementation than might exists with early designs and potentialities.

Currently CORA is offered in two manners:

  1. CORA Explorer
  2. CORA Explorer - Premium
Shortly CORA will be offered as a Cloud based solution that will provided data security that is far more secure than any single, hardware based solution!

CORA Explorer

CORA Explorer is available as a Free download.

CORA Explorer Premium is available for purchase; see the About CORA dialog below for more information about upgrading to the Premium version. Alternatively, you may purchase CORA Explorer Premium directly from CloudCORA.com.


CORA Explorer is primarily intended to provide the end user with unbreakable data security. It is used to Lock and Unlock file and/or folders.

When data is locked, it is fragmented into multiple files, which should "not" be located at the same location (such as a standalone computer). This data cannot be used again without all of the files and the system information used to Lock the data!



CORA Explorer includes its own context menu (and keyboard shortcuts) to facilitate standard operations one would expect in a real-time file manager/Explorer.

Data may also be Exported / Imported. Exported data doesn't lock the original data. Imported CORA solutions don't delete the original CORA files.

CloudCORA

CloudCORA.com has been secured to currently provide the following services:

  1. End User registration.
    This is to provide an added layer of protection in the event that a device is lost or stolen.
  2. Download the free version of CORA Explorer.
  3. Purchase the premium version of CORA Explorer.
  4. Destination for a CORA package when locking your data - depending your your preferences (location specified for a CORA package).
  5. Emergency Stop – should one of your CORA blocs become compromised, or you suspect your password has been compromised, then you may shut down access to CloudCORA until you are ready to reset your authentication and secure your CORA package (which may be needed to unlock your data, depending on your preferences).

The following services will be offered in the near future:

  • Cloud based data backup services that are unbreakable.
  • Smartphone & Tablet based apps for secure data storage.
  • Smartphone, tablet and computer based apps for emergency services, such as may be needed if a device is lost or stolen.

Starting CORA Explorer

CORA Explorer is built on C# - a managed environment that depends on the Microsoft's .Net Framework. CORA Explorer then connects with a DLL written in C++ to lock and unlock your data.

The first time you install CORA Explorer on your Window's desktop the following processes will be initiated:

  • Display to you a dialog box that includes the recognition of a signed certificate identying "pieV.com" as the publisher of this program.
    (pieV.com is a coding certificate previously belonging to a sole-proprietorship in Windsor, Ontario Canada, however, now belongs to CORA Cyber Security Inc.)
  • Check for Microsoft's .NET framework 4.52 and Microsoft Visual C++ runtime libraries - which ared used to run CORA Explorer. If needed these will be downloaded from Microsoft's network and installed on your Computer (with your permission).
  • Install CORA Explorer and the related files.
  • Provide a shortcut (with CORA's icon) on your Desktop.

The first time you open CORA Explorer you will be:

  1. Asked to enter your Activiation Key. If you have purchased CORA Explorer - Premium, you may enter the key during initialization. If you are using CORA Explorer -Free, then close this Dialog.
  2. Shown the End User License Agreement (EULA) and will be asked to Accept this EULA, and Register this CORA Explorer.
    In order to proceed you must accept the EULA.
    If you choose to Register this at the same time, you will be prompted to Sign In (you may register at this time with CloudCORA if you haven't already done so).
    See the About CORA dialog below for more information.

Each time CORA Explorer is properly started and ended, the following processes will occur:

  • CORA Explorer will initialize, during which time it loads the system preferences and Chaosmaps used by CORA Explorer.
  • The last used Folder will be loaded into the List view pane (and optionally the Folder View pane).
  • When closed properly, CORA Explorer will save any changes made to the system preferences, including the last active folder.

System Information

The following is a listing of the information stored between sessions by CORA Explorer:

  1. Window Position - the top, left corner of CORA Explorer
  2. Window Size - the width and height of CORA Explorer
  3. Size of the Folder Tree (pane)
  4. The view state of the List view pane
  5. Column information for the List view (widths, etc.)
  6. Options dialog information (position, size, default settings)
  7. Template information (name, ids, locations)
  8. Premium version identifiers
  9. Preferences for CORA including but not limited to: locations, backup preferences, prompts, export directives, etc.
  10. The default number of data Files to use when locking or exporting your data
  11. Last active folder

Updating your CORA Explorer

CORA Explorer automatically checks for updates weekly. You may also manually check for updates at anytime using the "Check for updates" menu item in the "Information toolbar menu" .

Should you chose to upgrate to the premium version, you will use the "Upgrade to Premium" menu item which will open a separate browser and an input box within CORA Explorer. You may purchase the Premium license online, and then enter the Activation Key into CORA Explorer.

For a limited time, as a sign of our appreciation and loyalty to you, for your support, all Premium upgrades will include:

  1. liftime upgrades.
  2. a subscription to CloudCORA.

The Premium version is visually identified by the "Information toolbar menu" icon being blue

Icons used in CORA Explorer

The "File Locked" icon is displayed when a single file is locked.

For example, if you quickly locked your "password list" then the original file name would appear with an extension of "pcora" and this icon.

The "Group Locked" icon is displayed when multiple files (or folders) were locked during a single lock action.

For example, if you quickly lock a folder with all of your encrypted password files used by a password manager, this icon would be used and the catalog file would have an extension of "gcora".

The catalog of file names, along with the date and time of the Lock action would appear if the user selects the locked file

CORA - take data with you securely

Take your data with you securely, never having to worry about losing your data, or having your USB thumb drive stolen.

Better yet, do so with a minimal footprint while guaranteeing your safety and security. As long as you are connected to the net, CORA on the go makes the most sense for security and portability!
Save a data File on your USB (CORA to go), and use an online storage location, such as Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive for the rest of your data files.

Best yet, no worries; Google, Microsoft, or any hacker that violates their security can not do anything with your data fragment - only you can recombine your data, as long as you have your "CORA on the go" (USB drive). If you loose your USB drive, its contents are useless without the other pieces - it really is that simple.

Caution: using Best Practices and having data backup solutions is crutial, for "no-one" can recreate your data if a single piece of this "CORA puzzle" is missing.

Best Practices - keep it rock solid

  1. Use CORA Locations to place data Files at separate locations!
    • Do not place all of your data Files on the same device/computer.
    • Use Templates to quickly set different CORA Location scenerios.
    • Example #1: Place your second and third data File on your computer, and the first data File on a portable USB drive that isn't left in the computer.
    • Example #2: Place your primary data File on Google Drive, and the secondary data Files on Microsoft One Drive.
      Keep your third CORA package on a portable USB thumb drive.
    • Example #3: Place your primary data File on Google Drive, and the secondary data Files on Microsoft One Drive.
      Place your third data File on CloudCORA.
    • Example #4: Place your primary data File on your computer, the secondary data Files on Google Drive.
      Keep your third CORA package on a portable USB thumb drive.
    • Example #5: Place your primary data File on Microsoft One Drive, the secondary data Files in your Dropbox.
      Keep your third CORA package on a portable USB thumb drive.
  2. Backup your data solutions. See CORA backup for more information and examples
  3. Export your system data to a separate, portable drive. See CORA System export for more information and examples

Sample Configurations

  • CORA Explorer - not necessarily using a portable USB thumb drive.
    1. Three data Files (CORA blocs) with CloudCORA
      Requires CloudCORA.
      Option CORA package #1 CORA package #2 CORA package #3
      1 My Documents/CORA (hidden) CloudCORA My Desktop/CORA (hidden)
      2 My Documents/CORA (hidden) My Documents/CORAexplorer CloudCORA
      3 CloudCORA My Documents/CORA (hidden) My Desktop/CORA (hidden)
      4 CloudCORA My Documents/CORA (hidden) - Any Folder -
    2. Three data Files (CORA blocs) with Google Drive & CloudCORA
      Requires CloudCORA.
      Option CORA package #1 CORA package #2 CORA package #3
      1 My Documents/CORA (hidden) CloudCORA Google Drive
      2 Google Drive My Documents/CORAexplorer CloudCORA
      3 CloudCORA Google Drive My Desktop/CORA (hidden)
      4 CloudCORA Google Drive - Any Folder -
    3. Four data Files (CORA package) with Google Drive
    4. Option CORA package #1 CORA package #2 CORA blocs #3 & 4
      1 My Documents/CORA (hidden) Google Drive My Documents/CORAexplorer
      2 My Documents/CORA (hidden) My Desktop/CORA (hidden) Google Drive
      3 Google Drive My Documents/CORA (hidden) My Documents/CORAexplorer
      4 Google Drive My Documents/CORA (hidden) - Any Folder -
    5. Four data Files with Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive
    6. Option CORA package #1 & 4 CORA package #2 CORA package #3
      1 My Documents/CORA (hidden) Google Drive Microsoft One Drive
      2 My Documents/CORA (hidden) Microsoft One Drive Google Drive
      3 Google Drive Microsoft One Drive - Any Folder -
  • CORA Explorer - using a portable USB thumb drive.
    1. Three data Files while offline - using the USB drive
      Option CORA package #1 CORA package #2 CORA package #3
      1 My Documents/CORA (hidden) CORA USB / USB Thumb drive My Desktop/CORA (hidden)
      2 CORA USB / USB Thumb drive My Documents/CORAexplorer CORA USB / USB Thumb drive
      3 CORA USB / USB Thumb drive My Documents/CORA (hidden) My Desktop/CORA (hidden)
      4 CORA USB / USB Thumb drive CORA USB / USB Thumb drive - Any Folder -
    2. Three data Files with online desktop storage - using the USB drive
      Option CORA package #1 CORA package #2 CORA package #3
      1 My Documents/CORA (hidden) Google Drive CORA USB / USB Thumb drive
      2 CORA USB / USB Thumb drive Microsoft One Drive Google Drive
      3 Google Drive My Documents/CORA (hidden) My Documents/CORAexplorer
      4 Google Drive Microsoft One Drive CORA USB / USB Thumb drive

The Toolbar

The Purple Menu based icons in the toolbar are drop down menus. The Lock, Unlock and Options Dialog icons have default actions, and will only open a menu if the "drop down arrow" is used.

For example, if an end user clicks on the Options Dialog Menu icon away from the dropdown arrow , then the Options Dialog will open to the previous tab, unless this is its first use, in which case it will open to the first tab.
If the end user clicks on the dropdown arrow, then the menu is displayed.

The Default action for the Lock Menu is to Lock your data (selected in the List view pane or Folder's tree) using the number of data files specified, and the current Template if in use, or the CORA Locations set in the Options Dialog.

The Default action for the Unlock Menu is to Unlock the selected file (must be selected in the List view pane).

Toolbar icons related to "Folder operations"

  • Up one level - changes the active Folder to its Parent Folder.
  • Previous - make the Previous active Folder active again.
  • Move forward in the chain of active Folders. If the end user had moved backward (using the Previous icon) and then clicks on this "Next" icon, the active folder that was active prior to selecting "Previous" will become the active Folder once again.
  • Refresh - this icon will refresh the List view and Folder tree panes. If a portable drive is added to your computer after starting CORA Explorer, this will refresh the Drive list.

Toolbar icons related to "CORA operations"

  • Lock Menu - Used to Lock files/folders that have been selected in the List view (or Folder tree) pane.
    Same functionality as Lock in the Context menu
  • Lock Menu / Export - do not lock the currently selected data on your computer. This should be done to backup your data, even before locking sensitive information.
    Same functionality as Export in the Context menu
  • Lock Menu / CORA Locations - this menu item opens the Options dialog allowing you to view/change the currently selected CORA Locations.
  • No of data Files - this dropdown ComboBox allows you to select the number of data Files you would like to use in locking the currently selected data.
    Once this is set, it will remain in effect until you change it during a subsequent Lock operation.
  • Unlock Menu - Used to Unlock a file (or group of files) using the currently selected "CORA locked file".
    Same functionality as Export in the Context menu
  • Unlock Menu / Import - this menu item begins the Import process; it is used to import secured data. It is important to note, that the import must be done using the same system that produced the CORA export.
    In other words, if you're friend exported data to you using a different copy of CORA Explorer, then this will not work. Such a tranfer of data will have to be facilitate using the Premium version and with proper permissions being granted by the originating system. Please remember that the bottom line is data security!
  • Template selector - this allows you to select a predefined Temlate to use in the current Lock operation. Templates are managed in the Options Dialog / Locations tab.

Toolbar icons related to "System operations"

  • List view options Menu - allows you to view your files and folders in the Listview:
    • as Small Icons
    • as Large Icons
    • as a List
    • with Details (small icon, name, type, last accessed and size)
    • Using Checkboxes
  • Options Dialog Menu - the default action is to open the Options Dialog to the previous tab.
  • Options Dialog Menu / CORA Locations - this tab allows you to specify Locations for the data Key and data Files. It is also used to manage Templates.
  • Options Dialog Menu / CORA Backup - specify backup options used during standard "Lock operations", and backup options for important system information.

The About CORA dialog

The First time you start CORA Explorer, you will see this dialog box:

You must read and accept the End User License Agreement (EULA).

After accepting the EULA, you may:

  1. Close this Dialog and continue to CORA Explorer, OR
  2. Register this CORA Explorer - required according to the terms of the EULA - though you may do so at a later date.
    You will be prompted with this About Dialog box with every startup until you register this CORA Explorer.
    If you choose to Register this CORA Explorer with CloudCORA.com, you will be prompted to sign in.
    If you haven't registered, you will have the opportunity to register from within CORA Explorer, or you may do so at CloudCORA.com.

After you have accepted the EULA and Registered your CORA Explorer, the following "About Dialog" will be displayed when you open it from the main Toolbar in CORA Explorer:

Should you chose to upgrade to the Premium version, then the Activation Button will no longer be displayed.

You may use the View EULA link at any time to read the EULA again.

The current version will be displayed below the CLose button.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Various shortcuts are built into CORA Explorer using various combinations to the Control (Ctrl) and Alt keys.

Action Shortcuts

Actions are related to the direct processes used by CORA Explorer.

  1. Ctrl + E
  2. Ctrl + L Lock selected items using the default settings.
  3. Ctrl + U Lock THE selected "CORA lock file(s)"

  4. Ctrl + C Copy the selected files/folders
  5. Ctrl + V Paste the selected files/folders
  6. Ctrl + X Cut the selected files/folders (combined with a Paste, these will be moved to a new location)

  7. Ctrl + F Create a new Folder
  8. Ctrl + Y Redo last "file operation"
  9. Ctrl + Z Undo last "file operation" (doesn't include CORA operations)

  10. Alt + X Exit CORA Explorer
  11. F5 Refresh the List view and Folder View. If "My Computer" is the active view, then refresh the Drive list.

Options Shortcuts

Options are related to optional processes that are required in order for CORA Explorer to effect your data. These include processes such as obtaining Help, or view/clearing system messages.

  1. F1 Open a browser and load the help files - requires an internet connection.
  2. Alt + D List view - Details view
  3. Alt + F Folder's Tree - toggle
  4. Alt + L List view - Large icons view
  5. Alt + S List view - Small icons view

  6. Ctrl + O Open the Options Dialog
  7. Ctrl + The Ctrl key with the left arrow key will move to the First active Folder in the History list/chain
  8. Ctrl + The Ctrl key with the right arrow key will move to the Last active Folder in the History list/chain
  9. Ctrl + On the Statusbar will clear all system messages saved during this session
  10. On the Statusbar will show the system messages' dialog

CORA actions

Lock your Data - safe and secure!

The first step in locking your data is to select the file(s) and or folder(s) to Lock (protect).

The free version allows you to Lock a single folder at a time. With the Premium version you may Lock any number of files and folders in a single operation.

Given the selected files and folders shown above, the following Message is displayed when using the Free version.

Select Ok to lock the files without the folder, the results of which are shown below. Notice that when the CORA locked file is selected, the CORA text view pane is automatically shown below the List view pane.

Unlock your Data

As seen above, when locking files a CORA lock file is produced. For the most part, this is a simple catalog recording the names of the original files that were locked and the date/time at which they were locked.

When locking a single file, the original file name is retained in the CORA locked file. When locking multiple files or folders, CORA provides you with the names of the files that are included in this locked solution.

Unlocking your data is simple. Select the CORA locked file with the included files/data you want, the select Unlock.

The CORA lock file is removed and your original files (folders) are recovered. The CORA text view pane is removed since you no longer have a CORA locked file selected.

See Deleting CORA files for more information about what happens to the original CORA files once you Unlock your data.

Exporting data

Relevant options: Export locations, Prompt for Export location and Export Locations and the History Chain

CORA Exports are similar to CORA Locks except that:

  • The original data isn't removed.
  • The exported CORA files are placed in one or two (Best Practice) locations.
  • When importing this CORA export, you must select the CORA files so that CORA knows which files to use.

CORA exports are meant to provide a secure means of transporting your data, or backing up your data.

As shown below, the primary files will be placed in My Documents library, and the secondary files will be placed in a portable USB drive (CORA USB). It is worth noting that "Always Prompt for Export Location" isn't selected. If it were, then you would be prompted to override the Primary Export Location everytime you Export data.

The data Key and first data File are placed into the primary Export Location. All other data files are placed into the secondary Export Location.

After selecting "Export Data" you won't notice anything different in the List view pane. Once the Export has finished, the Export Locations will be appended to the History Chain (if this options has been selected); you may then use the Next icon to move through the History chain to these Export locations. If you hold down the Ctrl key while selecting the "Next" icon you will instantly jump to the last Folder in the History chain, which in this case would be the Secondary Export location.

Importing locked data

Relevant options: Export locations, Prompt for Import location and Cancel import if Prompt cancelled

Concepts involved:

  1. Target Folder - this is the folder to which the "Unlocked" data will be imported to.
  2. Import Locations - these are the primary and secondary Export locations; the two Folders/Locations that house the CORA files.
  3. CORA locked file - this is the catalog that lists the files locked during the Export operation with one of these icons .

It is important to understand the relationship between the current "active folder" displayed in CORA Explorer versus the Target folder, Import locations and CORA locked file.

The Prompt for Import location overrides the Target Folder.

If you initiate an Import Action without a CORA locked file being selected, then you will be prompted to select such a file.

Consider the following scenarios:

Import a CORA locked file from the currently active Folder in CORA Explorer.

You have selected a CORA locked file to import in your active Folder. If you haven't selected a CORA locked file, you will be prompted to select one.

The active Folder defaults as the Target folder, the destination for all of the files that were Locked during the Export process. If you have chosen "Always prompt for Import Location", then you will be prompted for a Target Folder.
If you have chosen "End import if Prompt is cancelled", then if you cancel this prompt, the import will be cancelled.

Once you begin the Import process, CORA Explorer will look for the files in the Primary and Secondary Export locations; they must be in these respective folders. If you have moved them, you will have to move them back to these locations. See Advance Import below if you want to move these files.

You may also import data from any "Locked File", in which case the CORA files must reside in the Folders that were selected as CORA Locations during the Lock operation. The primary difference between an Unlock operation and an Import operation is that the Locked File remains after an Import operation.

Import a CORA locked file without a CORA locked file being selected.

When an import action is initiated, if there isn't a CORA locked file selected, then you will be prompted to select one (you may navigate to the folder containing the CORA files).

Important - all of the CORA files must be in this Import Location in order to unlock this data; the data Key, catalog file, and all data Files.

After successfully unlocking this data, CORA will default to the currently selected active folder and paste these unlocked files/folders at this location.
If you have chosen "Always prompt for Import Location", then you will be prompted for a Target Folder.

The Advance Import

The Advance Import is meant for advanced users who have moved the original CORA files to other locatios.

It is accessed through the Unlock Menu in the Toolbar.

This Advance Import prompts you to select a CORA locked file (similar to above), however, all of the related CORA files must also be present in the same directory as the CORA locked file.

The Unlocked data will be placed in the currently active folder in CORA Explorer, unless you have selected Prompt for Import location.

Number of Files

Number of files refers explicitly to the number of data Files. It does not include the data Key, nor the CORA locked file (catalog).

Hence the total number of CORA files involved in any single Lock or Export operation is this # + 2.
There are also system files necessary for CORA Explorer to unlock any of your CORA solutions.

CORA options

The most important CORA options are:

  1. The number of data Files (CORA blocs).
  2. The locations for the CORA blocs.

See CORA Options below for more extensive details.

Templates

Templates allow you to quickly chose a different Lock/Export scenario. Templates are managed in the CORA Locations tab of the Options Dialog. See Managing Templates below.

Select the Template selection icon in the Toolbar. It will show you your currently defined templates, and if one of them is currently active, it will be highlighted.

To select a Template, select the Template name in the drop down menu that was exposed when you selected the Template selection icon.

In this example, there are two Templates defined and available for selection. An end user might have used the "Basic" template previously, and now wish to use the "testing" Template for this next Lock operation.

When a Template is selected, it will correspond to the CORA Locations specified in the Options dialog.

Note - if you haven't created any Templates, this icon will not be enabled.

CORA Options

The CORA options dialog allows the end user to select three broad catagories of preferences, each embodied by a "Tab". When saving or closing the Dialog, all preferences that were changed during the Options selection (possibly from multiple tabs) will be saved.

Opening the Options dialog

There are four ways to open the Options Dialog box:

  1. Ctrl + O This Keyboard shortcut opens the Options Dialog to the previously selected Tab.
  2. Selecting this Toolbar icon opens the Options Dialog to the previously selected Tab.
  3. The Dropdown arrow in the Toolbar icon.
  4. Using the Lock Toolbar menu, choose "CORA Locations" to open the Options dialog to the CORA Locations Tab.

Saving your changes

Note that any changes you make, on any tab, will be saved if you Save changes, not just the changes made on a particular Tab. These changes will only be kept if you properly exit CORA Explorer. If you "End Program" through the Task Manager, then changes will not be recorded.

CORA basic setup

Drilling down into Nested Folders

Actions on Directories (Folders) will drill down into all nested Locations - when this is selected and you Lock or Export the selected Folder, all nested folders will be Locked or Exported as well.

This feature is available in CORA Explorer Premium. In the free version, only the "files" in the active, parent folder will be locked. Nested folders will appear under the parent folder and may be locked separately. The free version requires a new Lock action for each Folder.

Deleting CORA files when unlocking

If this option is selected, when you unlock your data, the CORA data Key and data Files will be deleted.

Primary and secondary Export Locations

The Primary Export location will hold the data Key and the first data File.

The Secondary Export Location will hold all remaining data Files. If your Locking solution is using 2 files, only one data file will be placed into this Secondary location. If you are useing 10 data Files, then the last 9 will be placed into this Secondary location.

These are both ComboBoxes and they hold previously chosen Locations. To select a Location other than those listed in the ComboBox, select the Label to the left of the ComboBox. This will open a Folder selection dialog box with which you can chose another folder. This new folder will be added to the ComboBox "if you save" your changes.

Always Prompt for an Export Location

If this is selected, then you will be prompted for an export location when you initiate and Export action.

In such cases, all CORA files are exported to this one location which over-rides the Primary and Secondary locations.

Export Locations to the History Chain

If selected, then after an export action, the Primary and Secondary Export Locations will be added to the History chain, allowing you to quickly move to "Next" to view these Export Locations. Afterward you may move back using the "Previous" icon in the Toolbar.

This option is useful should you care to view the CORA files produces, and potentially move them/copy them to alternate locations. Be careful, you will have to manage these on your own.

This is also a handy option for advanced users who desire to "email" individual files to different email accounts.

Always Prompt for Import location

When Importing Locked data, it defaults to being placed into the active Folder in CORA Explorer. This option prompts you for an alternate Folder to which to add the Unlocked files/folders.

Cancel Import if Promt is cancelled

If the previous option is selected, in which you are prompted for an import location, then the entire import operation will be cancelled if the Folder selection dialog is cancelled.

Backup and Restore System Information

This Backup will save your Chaos maps, System Data and User Preferences to a local folder, or to CloudCORA.com. The Premium version allows users to backup select items, rather than all three types of backup.

This Restore action will list your Backups in a separate dialog box, allowing you to select which backup you would like to restore.

CORA locations

Data Files

Data files are also known as CORA blocs, or CORA fragments. Your original data is broken down at a binary level into different fragments that are in turn stored in different data files. These CORA blocs are all needed to unlock your data. This divergent thinking is why CORA supersedes encryption in providing advanced data security.

It is important that you follow Best Practices and never place all of CORA's files on the same device, such as the same computer hardrive, or the same portable USB drive. This would result in CORA being as vulnerable as encryption - if a thief obtains all of the files, then similar to a hacker who obtains an encrypted file, they have all the time in the world to break open the safe.

All CORA locations work in a similar fashion. There is a ComboBox that offers standard and previously chosen Locations. If you desire a different location, select the Label to the left of the ComboBox and a Folder selection dialog will open allowing to you select a different folder. Once selected and used (preferences are saved), this new location will be available for use through the ComboBox.

The first data file

This is the Folder in which the "First data File" will be saved.

Please note that in order for your data to be unlocked, all of these files must be available! This is by design to insure that your data is unbreakable. Even if someone managed to steal all of the files except for one, your data would remain locked and safe!

It is crutial that you backup your data and properly care for these data files.

Additional data files

You may select 4 target locations for your data files. If you use more than 4 CORA blocs in a particular solution, these four locations will be chosen in sequence.

However many files you are using, everyone of them must be available without any corruption in order to recover your data.

Automatically place additional files into Separate Folders

This option is for your organization. It isn't generally recommended, since only advanced users should touch these files, however, this option will place additional data Files into their own Folder.

For example, if you are Locking your data with 3 data files, then the second data File would be placed in a sub Folder named "Two" under this Location for other data Files. Similarly, the third data File would be placed into a sub folder names "Three".

This option shouldn't be used if your a using an online location for these additiona data Files.

CloudCORA

CloudCORA will be available as a CORA Location for data Files. When selecting CloudCORA as a location, CORA blocs are stored locally, then if (or when) you sign in to CloudCORA, these packages are uploaded to CloudCORA and removed from your local computer.

DUring an Unlocking action, CORA blocs stored at CloudCORA will be downloaded, and then the unlock will proceed.

One might chose to use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Cloud CORA and a usb flash drive as locations for the CORA blocs. Since CloudCORA doesn't store the files on your local computer, there is an additional layer of protection.

Managing your templates

Templates are intended to save you time and to make CORA much more user friendly.

It is human nature to minimize busy work. Without templates many might be tempted to setup a single CORA solution, then simply reuse it again and again.

This isn't an optimal approach to security. Better to change it up to meet particular needs. Using templates this is fast and easy, and should promote compliance to Best Practices.

Note:

  1. The Save icon only appears when it is necessary, however, if it appears (rename or create), then in order for this template to be saved you must:
    • Save the template by clicking on this save Template icon
    • Save changes to the Options Dialog.
  2. The Create a new Template icon will create a Template based upon the CORA Locations chosen.
  3. The Delete template icon will delete the current Template. This will only be saved globally if you save the changes through the Options dialog.
  4. When changing the CORA locations, if a particular combination corresponds to a Template, that template's name will appear along with the delete icon.
  5. If there isn't a Template for this combination, then the only part of the Template management section that will appear is the "Create a new Template" icon/button.

CORA backup

Until CloudCORA releases its CORA Backup and Synchronization service, we recommend that you use the “Export” action to backup important data. The exported data is secure while the original data remains unlocked and accessible. You may then comfortably lock this data when you don’t need it, and unlock it as needed. The export provides a backup in case one of the CORA blocs used in the lock operation is compromised or accidently deleted.

Introduction to backing up CORA

This is extremely important - unbreakable data security means that, if one file is lost or corrupted, then your data is gone! A proper backup process is more important than ever to guard against unexpected and undesirable outcomes.

Have you ever lost the password to a file, say a MS Word document? Then paid a small fee for an app that would unlock this protected file? This won't be the case with CORA! Please take your Backup seriously.

Just to be clear, and avoid unnecessary concern, a backup solution is just as important whether using CORA or not. If your hard drive fails, or your device is stolen/lost, then without a proper backup, your data is gone!


There are two broad categories to understand about CORA backup:

  1. Backing up your "Locked data". This involves backing up data Files.
  2. Backing up your "system data". This involves exporting / importing system files (Chaos Maps, User Preferences and internal system data).

Backing up Locked data involves the same "Best Practices" that locking data involves, namely, do not place all of the files on the same device.

Export your system information

System data includes Chose maps, user preferences and select, internal system files used by CORA. The free version backs up all of these when exporting the system data. There are situations in which an advanced user may need to export only one or two of these types of system information; such users are encouraged to purchase the Premium version.

To Export (backup) your system information, press the Backup button in the Options Dialog box (General Tab).

Import system information

Should the unexpected occur, you may reset CORA Explorer to an earlier state by importing a CORA system file; one that was previously exported using this same Tab in the Options dialog.

You may decide to do an import, if you want to load a different set of "User Preferences".

To import CORA system information, you begin by pressing the Restore button in the Options Dialog box (General Tab).

Advanced users may choose to import select files, such as Chaos maps, so that another copy of CORA Explorer may be used on a separate computer, to unlock (or share) locked, secured data.

The Context menu

All of the actions available through the context menu are available in the Toolbar and/or through keyboard shortcuts.

CORA actions in the context menu

  1. LockInitiates a Lock process on selected data.
  2. UnlockInitiates an Unlock process.
  3. ExportSame as Export in the Lock menu (Toolbar)
  4. ImportSame as "Import Selected" in the Unlock menu (Toolbar)

CORA actions in the Context menu are displayed with a blue font.

File actions in the context menu

  • Open - open the select file(s) using the registered program(s). Defaults to Notepad for unknown file types.
  • Select - available in the Folder Tree, this menu item makes this particular folder the active folder.
  • New Folder - creates a New Folder in the currently selected, active Folder. This action also initiates a "Rename" action on the new folder.
  • Cut - copy the currently selected file(s)/folder(s), then when a Paste action occurs, paste them into the new location and delete these from their original location.
  • Copy - copy the currenlty selected files(s)/folder(s) - making them available to be pasted into another location. This process is independent of Window's clipboard.
  • Paste - paste items copied (in CORA Explorer) into the currently active folder. This process is independent of Window's clipboard.
  • Rename - rename the existing file or folder.
  • Delete - delete the existing file or folder.

File actions are displayed in a black font.

Messages from CORA

Messages requiring "User Input"

There are times when you will have to make a decision. For example, if you are using the Free version and attempt to Lock 3 files and 1 folder, then you will be notified that the Free version limits a single Lock to a single folder (no limit on the number of files). Hence you will have to decide if you want to continue, locking only the files, or cancel and then select a different group of files, or a single folder.

Status bar messages

The most common status bar message is the currently active Folder. Every change in folder is reflected in the path being displayed in the status bar.

There are times when this path information won't be displayed (temporarily) while another message is displayed, such as a warning or error message.

Warning and/or error messages placed here will be "red" and only appear for a few seconds. These are generally considered to be advisory messages that shouldn't require a decision by you.

All status bar messages are kept during a particular session. While they only appear momentarily in the status bar, they are available for review at any time by clicking on the status bar (on the text of the status bar - left side of status bar).

The CORA - Messages dialog allows you to choose the type of message to view:

  • Standard messages involve the generic type of messages, such as are shown in this example; directories that have been viewed.
  • CORA messages involve CORA, such as errors and/or warnings that may have occurred.

To clear earlier messsages you may use this Hold the Ctrl Key down while clicking on the status bar.

The CORA text view pane

The CORA text view pane is automatically shown when a CORA locked file is selected. Its location is at the bottom right corner of CORA Explorer, and it will expand as needed, up to a maximum of half the height available within CORA Exlorer. In other words, it will never take up more space than the List view pane.

This CORA text view pane is automatically hidden if a CORA locked file isn't selected.