Bring Us Your Most Uninviting Ideas

How to deter curious co-workers?

I like this question:

If you keep a folder of important/embarrassing material on your computer’s desktop (or I guess a real desktop, even) and want to make sure that no one ever opens it, what’s the best name to give the folder?

“Actuarial Test Prep” maybe? Suggestions, please. Also, does anyone know the name for this dilemma?


ADDENDUM: Thanks to Sam for providing the name of this scenario: steganography.


Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



View All Comments »
  1. Chase says:


    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  2. Joshua Gans says:

    “Blog post ideas”

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • James Duval says:

      “Erotic Fan-Fiction” — assuming, of course, that what is in the folder is actually more embarrassing than erotic fan-fiction.

      Which I now realise is a big leap to make.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Steve Fuchs says:


    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. John Rees says:

    Service Pack Backup

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. @yearlyglot says:

    If you want it to be ignored, make it look like software. For example, create a set of files to look like an installer for something really boring (like “Actuary Test Prep”) and then place a folder inside of there called “InstallerData”. It’s pretty safe to assume nobody will look there.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • James Hey says:

      But if a tech comes along they will remove it :(

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • dtc2153 says:

      @yearlyglot definitely has the right approach. The point is to bury it deep in the folder structure, in a folder that no one normally has any reason to open. It also can be useful to not only give it an unusual name but an unusual extension such that neither would likely show up on searches. Finally, real security requires work. The folder/file should not be placed on the desktop. No matter how unappealing the name, having it in plain view simply begs someone to open it just to see what it is.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. Ryan says:

    Operating system data (Warning! Do not open!)

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  7. Lil Troy says:

    Photos of Underarm Rash

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  8. Ken says:

    “Security by obscurity,” I call it.

    No-one has opened a folder called “Marxist Economics” for a long time.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1