I would like to create a password protected file or folder which can be
opened only once. It does not matter what software I need to use since I will
have to obtain it anyway. It can also be one use only disposable memory stick;
I really don’t know how to approach this problem and any suggestions would be
In this excerpt from
Answercast #64, I look at the possibilities of locking down a file to be
read only once.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Unfortunately, I have exactly zero suggestions for you.
I’m not aware of any technology that would allow you to do what it is you’ve
I also want to caution you. My biggest concern here is that what you’ve
described could give you a false sense of security.
Files can be copied
For example, what if the one time a file was unlocked (from
whatever technology you ended up finding), it was used to make a copy of the file?
Well, that copy is no longer locked – and is available forever. The
file that you gave them would presumably self destruct (or continue to be
locked or whatever), but there are just so many ways that data that is visible,
that can be unlocked even once, can be copied – that I’m really, really
concerned that while you might think you’re solving a problem, that problem
isn’t really solved.
So I would encourage you to go back and really try and understand exactly
what it is you’re trying to accomplish here. I’m not aware of any technology
that will do what it is you’re asking for; and in all honesty, I wouldn’t trust
any technology that did.