SafeShare for Windows User's Guide
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Starting SafeShare for Windows and signing in

Starting SafeShare for Windows

SafeShare for Windows automatically starts when Windows boots up or restarts.

  • When SafeShare for Windows is running, its icon appears in the Windows taskbar notification area (either
    SafeShare for Windows - signed out
    or
    SafeShare for Windows - signed in
    ).

After starting, SafeShare for Windows may automatically prompt you to sign in with your Covata user account by opening the 'Sign in' dialog box, which would normally appear if you had never signed in to the application or you had signed out from a previous SafeShare for Windows session. If you had not switched users from a previous SafeShare for Windows session, then SafeShare for Windows retains your session when the application is restarted (and you will not be required to sign in).

If you need to sign in but the 'Sign in' dialog box is not visible, you can always sign in manually to access this dialog box.

If you happen to exit SafeShare for Windows or the application does not start after Windows boots up/restarts, you can manually start SafeShare for Windows.

To start SafeShare for Windows manually:

  • Double-click the Covata SafeShare icon on the desktop or choose Covata SafeShare from the Windows start menu. When running, the application's icon appears in the Windows taskbar notification area (either
    SafeShare for Windows - signed out
    or
    SafeShare for Windows - signed in
    ).

Signing in manually

The SafeShare for Windows icon in the Windows taskbar notification area indicates:

  • SafeShare for Windows - signed out
    (i.e. a gray SafeShare icon with a red x sign) if you are not yet signed in to the application.
  • SafeShare for Windows - signed in
    if you are already signed in.

Once you are signed in, any Covata-secured files and folders associated with your Covata user account in remote storage (managed by the Covata Platform) are synchronised with your computer's file system and can be accessed locally through Windows Explorer.

To sign in to SafeShare for Windows manually:

  1. Ensure SafeShare for Windows has been started.
  2. Click the application's icon
    SafeShare for Windows - signed out
    in the taskbar notification area to open the SafeShare for Windows application pane (which appears at the lower-right of the screen) and then click the Sign in link on this pane:
    Signing in

    Tip: Alternatively, right-click the application's icon
    SafeShare for Windows - signed out
    in the taskbar notification area and choose Sign in from the pop-up menu:
    Signing in
  3. In the Sign in - SafeShare dialog box, enter your Covata user account's Email address and Password into the relevant fields:
    Sign-in dialog box

    Notes:
    • The email address of the last Covata user account to sign in to SafeShare for Windows is automatically entered into the Email address field.
    • If you have forgotten your password, leave the Password field blank, click the Forgot your password link, follow the instructions on the subsequent page and then in your email notification to reset your password.
  4. Click the SIGN IN button (or type 'Enter'/'Return').
    • If the Sign in - SafeShare dialog box requests you to enter your Authentication code (see below), then either you have configured your Covata user account with two-factor authentication (2FA) (via Account Management) or at least one of your SafeShare Organisation administrators has enforced this feature on your account.
      If you see the following page for the first time or you need to (re-)configure a mobile device with your Covata user account for 2FA, refer to the Configuring a mobile device for two-factor authentication procedure below before continuing on.

      SafeShare 2FA authentication code

      To complete the authentication process:
      1. Open the authenticator app on your mobile device.
      2. In the Authentication code field, enter the code from the authenticator app that relates to your Covata user account.
      3. Click the Authenticate button to complete the authentication process.
    To verify that you are signed in to SafeShare for Windows, the application pane automatically appears after signing in, with your Covata user account's email address indicated at the top and the application's icon in the taskbar notification area changes to
    SafeShare for Windows - signed in
    :
    Checking your sign-in status

    Tips:
    • If the application pane does not appear, click its icon
      SafeShare for Windows - signed in
      to access it.
    • Alternatively, you can verify that you are signed in by right-clicking its icon
      SafeShare for Windows - signed in
      and observing in the pop-up menu:
      • 'You are signed in as your@email.address', or
      • 'You are not signed in'.

Notes:

  • When signing in to SafeShare for Windows for the very first time after installing or upgrading the application, the Welcome to SafeShare for Windows web page is shown, containing a short tutorial of basic operation.
  • If you signed in to SafeShare for Windows either for the first time or with a different Covata user account to the one used previously, then the following SafeShare folders are (re)created within the SafeShare folder (which in turn is contained within your Windows home folder):
    • My Secured Files
    • Shared With Me
  • If the My Secured Files folder does not appear, then your account does not have the Originator role. This role can be granted to your account by the Organisation administrator/s for your relevant organisation/s.
  • Each time you sign in to SafeShare for Windows as a different Covata user (on the same computer), the My Secured Files and Shared With Me folders of the previous Covata user are moved to the Recycle Bin and the contents of the newly recreated My Secured Files and Shared With Me folders are updated to reflect the items in remote storage of this different Covata user.
  • Once you are signed in, SafeShare for Windows immediately begins synchronising any files and folders in remote storage (associated with your Covata user account and accessible through SafeShare for Web), with those in the My Secured Files and Shared With Me folders. Covata-secured files within these folders appear with a size of 1 KB (or less) and have the extension .covl. However, when a file's encrypted content is initially downloaded (before local decryption) or encrypted locally before uploading, then a copy of this file with the extension .cov may be present. This file represents the file's locally encrypted data. However, SafeShare for Windows automatically deletes these files once the downloading/uploading process is complete.
  • A shortcut to the My Secured Files subfolder (above) as well as a shortcut to start the SafeShare for Windows application itself (called Covata SafeShare) are automatically created on your desktop. Be aware that if you initially signed in as a Covata user without the Originator role, then the My Secured Files shortcut is not created.

Configuring a mobile device for two-factor authentication

If either you or one of your Organisation administrators has configured your Covata user account with two-factor authentication (2FA), then you require a mobile device (i.e. an Android-, iPhone-, iPad-, iPod Touch- or Microsoft Windows-based one) running an authenticator application (from Google or Microsoft) to be able to sign in to SafeShare for Windows.

This authenticator application (aka authenticator app) that runs on your mobile device provides the 2nd authentication factor for your account, where your password is the 1st authentication factor.

To configure your mobile device with your Covata user account for 2FA:

  1. Check for a Covata Notification email message containing the subject line 'Two-factor authentication has been enabled for your account'.
  2. Open this email message and follow its instructions - i.e. click the link to open the two-factor authentication configuration pages.
    Follow the remaining instructions on these 2FA configuration pages to complete the process for configuring your mobile device and then continue with entering your authentication code to complete the authentication process and sign in to SafeShare for Windows.

Accessing the web application

SafeShare for Windows provides easy access to SafeShare for Web for better integration between these two products.

To access SafeShare for Web:

  1. Ensure SafeShare for Windows has been started and that you are signed in.
  2. Click the application's icon
    SafeShare for Windows - signed in
    in the taskbar notification area and then click the 'SafeShare Web' icon
    Opening SafeShare Web
    at the lower-right of the application pane:
    Opening the web application

    After signing in to the web application (if necessary), the main SafeShare page of SafeShare for Web opens in your default web browser (configured in Windows).

Notes about using this feature:

  • SafeShare for Web is a complementary product to SafeShare for Windows. For example:
    • SafeShare for Web allows you to manage your Covata user account through SafeShare for Windows and access some file/folder information features of this web application which are not accessible through Windows Explorer.
    • Microsoft imposes a file and path size limit of 260 characters. Hence, if you need to work with secure content in a heavily-nested folder hierarchy, SafeShare for Web can be used to provide access to this content.
  • If you are not signed in before accessing this feature, then the SafeShare Sign-in page is displayed. Be aware, however, that signing in through this page and SafeShare for Windows are two independent processes (with independent sessions).
  • Your SafeShare for Windows installation may have been configured (typically by a systems administrator) to open the SafeShare Web window, which is an embedded web browser that is effectively a feature-restricted version of SafeShare for Web. For example:
    • The Download feature in the SafeShare Web window is not supported. This feature is only supported natively (i.e. with a compatible web browser) through SafeShare for Web.
    • When using the SafeShare Web window, it is not possible to navigate back and forward through pages. You can only navigate using SafeShare for Web's own navigation features.

Switching users

To switch Covata users in SafeShare for Windows:

  1. Click the application's icon
    SafeShare for Windows - signed in
    in the taskbar notification area, then click the 'Settings' icon
    Application pane settings icon
    at the top-right of the application pane ... :
    Accessing the application pane settings icon

    and choose Switch user from this icon's pop-up menu.
  2. In the Sign in - SafeShare dialog box, enter your new Covata user account's Email address and Password into the relevant fields.
  3. Click the SIGN IN button (or type 'Enter'/'Return').

Note: Once you are signed out of SafeShare for Windows, any files or folders in the My Secured Files and Shared With Me subfolders of the SafeShare folder on your computer will no longer be synchronised with items in remote storage managed by the Covata Platform.

Exiting SafeShare for Windows

You can exit SafeShare for Windows regardless of whether or not you are currently signed in to the application.

To exit SafeShare for Windows, either:

  • Right-click the application's icon
    SafeShare for Windows - signed in
    or
    SafeShare for Windows - signed out
    in the taskbar notification area and choose Exit SafeShare from the pop-up menu:
    Exiting SafeShare

  • Click the application's icon
    SafeShare for Windows - signed in
    or
    SafeShare for Windows - signed out
    in the taskbar notification area, then click the 'Settings' icon
    Application pane settings icon
    at the top-right of the application pane ... :
    Accessing the application pane settings icon

    and choose Exit SafeShare from this icon's pop-up menu.

Note: To sign in to SafeShare for Windows again, restart the application and if you are not automatically signed in, sign in manually.