APF manager is the user app to use the APF Cloud Cyber Guardian. It is designed to be light weight file manager specifically to work with APF files to guard your digital assets. It is not meant to replace the file manager programs like Windows File Explorer. The APF file manager allows user to create and open APF files, locally or on build-in cloud storage. It let user to see and change the APF file security properties and metadata to suite the need. It also allows user to create their own access rules to personalize the access control of their APF files.
Furthermore, it support search for APF files using file property and metadata, both locally and through the server. This can be extremely useful when the full text search of the file content is not available. To speed up the adaption of APF solution, APF manager gives user the ability to create large number of APF files quickly and painlessly. With APF Meta rule, user no long need to manage the access on each file but simply includes designated term into the Meta tag
APF manager comes with built-in cloud storage that makes file sharing a breeze. User can work with files stored on the built-in cloud directly without the need to download them to local computer first. The built-in cloud can only be accessed through APF so they are protected even when your computer is hacked or infected by Ransom virus.
APF File Manager requires you to have Java 1.8 64-bit version on the computer.
Windows 7 and later 64-bit OS only
Please download java 64-bit SE from here: choose "Windows offline (64bit)” option.. To ensure you have the correct version, we recommend to
Mac OS X
APF requires the Java Development Kit to be installed. Make sure you choose the latest "Java SE Development Kit" for "Mac OS x64"..
Both Oracle Java SE and open-jdk works fine.
Once you have java ready, download APF Manager from our website https://www.apftechnology.com/.
Windows and Mac OS X
Simply run the install package, it requires Administrator access.
Simply unpack the tar file into your local install directory and follow the guide in installation.txt
Simply double click on the file apfLauncher from file explorer, or shortcut on desktop, if that is where you installed or create shortcut, or through windows file explorer.
Make sure the java is in you path. Then run the command from terminal:
<Install Path> apfLauncher
Double click on the file. If you want to start it from terminal, you have to install java SDK instead of SE in first step, since java SE doesn't support command line. The following command should work through terminal once you have java SDK:
<Install Path> apfLauncher
We recommend to restart APF manage at least once a day. This help to clear up the memory which in turn makes application run better. APF manager doesn’t cache anything so there is nothing to lose but everything to gain after restart. The APF manage maintains no connection to opening APF files so they can stay open during the restart. Any changes made during the restart will be saved.
You will need valid account to use APF Cloud Cyber Guardian. If you don’t have one already, you need to sign up for a new free account. When we say free, we mean it 100%. We don’t ask you for credit card to have a free account. You do, however, have to be over the legal age to consent the User Agreement.
You uses the “Sign Up” button on the top right of the sing-in page.
It brings up the sign up page. You need to provide the information it requires so we can identify you. It need 2 email addresses that you have access too, so in case you lose one, you still can change it using the second email address. We also need you phone number so it can be used as part of 2 factor authentication when you don’t have access to your email. We do not use your phone number for any purposes other than the authentication, and we don’t sell your personal information, period.
Once you fill up the form, we need to your consent to the User Agreement. Please read the agreement carefully. If you want to consent, click on “Decline” and close the windows.
If you do agree, your account will be set up and a temporary password will be sent to the both email accounts you used during registration. You can now log onto APF Manager using the temporary password and primary email as your user name. Please looking for email titled “Congratulations on your new APF account, Your Digital Assets Are Now Protected” from. You may need to look into spam folder. We recommend you to white list this email address to avoid delay in your communication from us.
When you log on the first time, or any time you use a new device that has not registered with APF, please make sure you have the access to either of your email addresses at the time, since we will use it to authenticate the devices you use. Without access to the email address, you will not be able to access login token required to register your devices. Once you reach to the below screen, please check your emails again for the token. You will need to user the temporary password and token to continue the process. If this is the device you own and you expect to continue use it, check the button “this is my personal device”. It will register this device as trusted device for your account so we won’t perform 2 factor authentication when you use this devices. The same devices can be shared by family that has multiple accounts but each accounts need to register this devices through separated 2-factor authentication process.
After the 2-factor authentication, you are asked to change your temporary password. You need to enter temporary password one more time and your new personal password. Make sure your new password is complicated enough to mix upper and lower case, as well as numbers and symbols.
Finally, your account is ready to use. Now you will log in using your new personal password.
Pass word recovery
If you forgot your password, click on the “Forgot Password?” button on the login page. It allows you to add information so we can send you a new temporary password. You will need to have access to you email account at the time to receive the temporary password, which will be valid for 24 hours.
Important: For the security reason, you can only recovery your password from devices that are registered with your account.
APF File Manager’s main inter face is similar to those of other file managers, with a folder tree browser area and file area which display a few file properties.
This area is used to navigate both local and cloud folders. The folds, or directories, can only be found and navigated in this tree area. Click on the expansion symbol next to the folder name will expand the child folders, and files inside this folder is displayed in file browser area.
This area is used to display files and allow selection of file to be operated on. This area displays files only, not folders, which may be different from other file managers like Windows explorer. APF manager also uses context menu for selected APF file that user can access through right click on the mouse. Current the context menu supports cloud operation and Meta Data, as well leasing option so the APF file can be accessed offline.
APF Manager’s main focus is working with APF Files, so the menu items on menu bar changes dynamically based on the file you selected and if it is on local folder or cloud folder. The functions that doesn’t related to the files are accessed through the Hamburg menu on top right corner.
Search bar on the top of screen allow you to search APF files using file name and/or file Meta. It can search cache which is located on local machine to increase the chance you will have those files in the result on the local devices, or it can search all APF you owned. If you use multiple devices, the result may include files that are on other devices.
Noted this search works for APF file only. You need to use other file mangers to search for non APF files.
APF file manage is designed exclusively to work with APF file. It allows user to create and open APF file, manage the APF File Meta data and the access control features to secure the file. It also support creating APF files in bulk through “Batch Create” interface/
With this release, user has to create APF file from the existing normal file that need to be protected. We expect in the near future to integrate APF into some applications so it can save as APF directly.
To create an APF file, use file browser to locate the desired file, and select it in the APF file browse, then click on “Protect this file” button. It will bring up a serial dialog boxes to help you navigate through the process.
Select folder and file name for APF
A file chooser window will open to let user select the destination folder and file name for the newly created APF. User need to make sure that APF extension is NOT altered, or APF manager will not be able to work probably with the APF file. Once done, clicking on save button will bring up the next dialog.
Add Meta and Access Rules
This dialog window allows user to add description and tags of the file to the Meta data. Those Meta Data helps to identify the content of the file and the category it belongs to without opening the file. Tag can be used in Meta Rules to realize the automatic access control. APF Manage will also use those to search for the APF files. Those can also be edited by the owner later.
Assign permission rule is optional but necessary if you plan
to share this file. Simple select the rules that will applied to this file, you
can select as many rules as you like.
Note only the active rules shows up here for assignment.
After save the change, a confirmation windows should show the APF is being created successfully, and you should be able to access the APF from the directory you chose.
This function is used when a large number of APF files that shares the same Metadata and Access Control properties to be created.
The function can be trigged by 2 ways:
1. Click on Hamburg menu on the top left, chose “APF Protection” and then “Protect Multiple Files”
2. After click on a non APF File, select the button “Protect Multiple Files” from menu bar
Add Metadata and Security Property
This is the same as when create single APF file. All the files in this batch will have the same Metadata and access rules as selected.
Same as when creating single file, description and tags are mandatory, and personal policy is optional.
New to this process is the selection of target folder and process to add multiple non APF files to the batch.
Note that with this process, you won’t be able select APF File name for each file. You can do that after APF files are being created using other file manager.
Select Folder for APF file
Click on “change” brings up the dialog to pick the folder for APF files. It will fill up the APF File Directory box. User may noticed there is no place to select file name for APF. In batch created, the file manager will automatically use existing file name and append the .apf to it.
Add File to the batch
Click on “Add File” button, it brings up the dialog to allow user add files to the batch.
Select files and click on “Open” will add selected files to the list. The process can be repeated to add more files.
Run the batch job
Once all the fields are populated properly, user can start run the batch job by clicking on “Run batch”. It will bring up the status windows on the right side which display the execution result for each file.
Stop the batch job
“Stop batch” button will stop the APF manager to process next file, it will not reverse the APF files that has been created.
Status and Result
The Status windows on the right shows the progress of the batch job and result for each file.
Files to be excluded during batch execution
The APF File will not be created if
1. The selected file is already APF file (has extension of apf)
2. The targeted APF file already exist in the destination directory
In the above example, the selected APF files are skipped, as the result shows.
Open APF File
Open APF file can be as simple as click a button when using the system default program to open selected file.
Open with default program
Simply select the APF file from file browser, then hit the “Open” button or double click mouse right button. The APF manager will seek the permission on user’s behalf, and if “read” or “read and write” is granted, it will let the default program open the file.
Open with non-default program
Noted that APF currently doesn’t support open file in console or terminal program.
This options allows user to choose a program to open the selected APF file. Select the APF file from file browser and then click on the “Open with” button, which bring up application chooser dialog to choose the executable file.
Click on “Select App”. It bring up a file chooser dialog so user can select the custom application.
Select the right executable and click on “Open”
One the application box is filled, click on “Open button” in Application Chooser Dialog, it will open the selected program with the APF file.
If the APF file is granted with read and write permission, APF file manager will ensure the changes saved through application made on to the APF file. This means when works with APF file in an application, all you need to do is to use “save” function in the application as one normally do. The process to save change to existing APF file may takes up to one minute to finish.
Note: APF currently does NOT work with applications’ automatic save function if the application creates and save changes to a temporary file. This includes Microsoft office suite, although user can still recover changes from application itself, but those change won’t be saved to the APF file.
When work with APF file, “Save as” function is not recommended unless it is absolutely necessary, like to save to a different format. If that is the case, an APF file should be created for the new file.
Warning from Application about “file has changed”
To maximum security, APF sometime deletes the file after application has loaded the content. This may cause some application to pop up warning about “original file has been changed” when trying to save changes. This does no harm since the application is waring about a temporary file created by APF process. . You can safely ignore that warning and choose to save the changes through the “Save” function in the application.
APF automatically monitors the change for cloud files and will warn you if it detects that could file has been changed since user downloaded the copy. If the cloud file indeed changed, APF will prompt user to either discard the changes or save to a new copy of APF file in local. If user decided to discard the change, user should close the application and open the latest copy from the cloud to prevent further warning.
The APF provide 2 access properties that can be changed in order to affect the access control to the files:
1. Personal Policies assigned to the file.
2. Tags if Meta Rules is in effect
Both properties can be viewed and changed
When an APF file is selected in file browser, you should have access to the “Access Rules” button in menu bar. Click on it will beings up the windows allowing you to make changes on the rules assigned to the file.
The example below allows you to remove the exist rules or add new rules.
Noted that you can only manage the rules for the APF files you own, or you will have error and empty windows with no rules.
Remove Access Rules
This function is available to administrator who manages the current owner of file and current owner. To remove assigned policy, user can select the policy list from the policy above the button, then click on the “Remove” button. A confirmation messages asked use to confirm the action. If user click on “OK” button, the policy will be remove from the assignment and from the policy list.
Add new Access Rules
This function is available to administrator who manages the current owner of file and current owner. To add a new policy, user clicks on the button of “Add”, which bring beings the same policy selection windows as during APF creation process. Only the policies that has the same security level as the file’s can be assigned. The newly assigned policy will shows up in the policy list area
Another way to change access rules is through changing Tag if Meta Rules is in place.
APF uses Meta data to help use to recognize, search and categorized the file, as well as manage version control. APF Meta data consist of 2 components:
1. Description is used for use to quickly recognize the file and its content without opening it. It supports up to 100 characters
2. Tags is used for user to quickly locate the file and its category, and apply Meta Access Rules. It can also be useful as search term. Up to 100 characters are supported in the area
View Meta Data
When the APF file is selected in the file browser, right click on the mouse brings the context menu which includes “Meta Data”. Select it bring up Meta windows
Change the Meta Data
Current APF file owner and administrators who manages the owner has the authority to change the Meta data of the APF file.
To change Meta data, simply edit the content from the window.
Once the change is made, clicking on “Save” button makes the changes permanent. A confirmation message will show up to confirm change are being made.
APF system is designed to enforce access control whenever possible, but sometime the APF files are needed to be accessed where the APF server is not reachable. In this case, APF files can be “leased” from the system for a few days.
Note Leasing is inheritably insecure. Please lease only the file that doesn’t contain extremely important information and only for as long as necessary.
Request to lease APF File
Request to lease APF file is easy and quick. Download the APF file to the local drive if the file is currently on the cloud. Select the APF file and right click the mouse, select the “lease file” and then number of days. There should a confirmation message to confirm the lease request is granted.
Leasing is access through the context menu when right click on the mouse as APF file is being selected.
Access to leased file
There is no special action to open leased files. User should work with the file the same way as usual. When APF manage detects the loss of connection to the APF server, it determine if the lease is available for the selected file. If user has active lease on the file, the file will be opened by APF manager and a message informs the user that file is opened due to active lease.
Group is the way access control and shares are being managed. The access rules uses group to assess the access and cloud bucket can be created and shared within groups
Each project has owners and members. Owner is the one who created the group and rest are members. Owner can change members and decided if a cloud bucket should be created for the group. All members can see the group and use it to create their access rules, as well as access to the group bucket if the owner created one. Members can also remove themselves from the group.
Access Project Group
The Group can accessed through the Hamburg menu on the top left corner. Click on the Hamburger sign and “APF Protection”, then “My Groups”
List of Current Project Groups
The project windows lists all the project groups the user belongs to, either as owner or member. For each group, it show group’s current state, owners and members, as well as the effective security level of the group, which is the lowest security level of all the members. This effective security level help to determine the security level of the files to be shared within the project. To allow everyone in the group to access project related file, the security level of those files has to be equal or lower than the project group’s effective security level.
Create New Group
Clicking on “New Group” brings up a panel on the right of project windows that allows to create a new group.
User need to fill up name and tags that used to identify the group.
Check the button next to “Create Cloud Bucket” to create shared cloud bucket for the group if it is needed. Each account has limited number of bucket available.
Select owner and member by click on “Edit Member” button separately. A separate window to add user shows up to help with user selection.
This allow to search for the users to add to the group. Please using exact phrase that are minimal 4 characters long to search against user name. This reduce the chance to select the wrong person.
Once all boxes are filled, click on “Save” button creates the groups.
APF manage will show the confirmation and new group show up on the list. If APF Cloud storage for project is enabled, the share cloud will show up next time when members log in to their APF manager.
Change the group
The group owner can delete the group, or change group member, or add cloud bucket to the group. Noted the number of bucket is capped depending on the account type. Those function can be access in the group list windows when a group owned by you is selected.
Remove from the group
A member of group can remove himself from the group. This can be done through the “Remove Me” button in the Group window when a group user is a member of is selected.
APF solution uses combination of global policy and personal policy to determine if the access to APF file is to be granted or not. Personal policies impact the file access when those are being assigned to the APF file. They don’t have impact on files those policies are not assigned to. So to use personal policy to affect access to APF files, user need to take 2 steps:
1. Create a personal policy that grants permission to targeted user or groups
2. Assign personal policy to the APF files that those access control are expected.
To avoid the conflict with global policy which may leads to unpredictable results, we recommend only to use personal policies on the security level that is allowed by the company’s policy, in which the global policies are absent.
Click on Hamburg menu, then “APF Protection”, selecting “Access Rules” brings up the Access Rules window, which show all access rules created by the user.
List of Rules
The upper part of access rule windows shows the list if all personal rules created by the users. For each rule, it includes:
1. Is Active State: Only those rules in active state can be assigned to the APF file
2. Rule name: name of the rule
3. Description: description of rule impact, include permission and user or groups it targeted
4. Owner: policy owner
Access Rules can be created by click on the “New Rule” button on top right corner. It switch to the windows allow policy to be created.
1. Fill in rule name, for easy identification of purpose of the policy
2. Select the permission to grant when the rule condition is met.
3. If this is Meta Rule, fill in the term that matches exact on the file tags. Skip the group selection.
4. If this is not Meta Rule, select the groups that this policy will grand permission to. If you don’t see the right group, click on the button next to groups allow you to create new group. Minimal one group need to be selected.
5. Optional permission flip date. If a date is selected, permission for rule will be flipped after the expiration date. Read and Write becomes No Access and No Access becomes “Read” after expiration date.
6. Please note that policy matches to any one of users, groups or project groups, not all of them.
Note: System matches all the file owned by the user to the Meta rules automatically so no groups is needed. This help to manage large amount of file with similar access conditions. Meta Rule is available only to paid account.
This is to be used to identify the policy, minimal 8 characters long
APF support three permissions:
No Access: when policy matches, the access will be denied. We don’t recommend this unless user are sure about it. Without care planning, this kind of policy may have unintended consequences. Besides, the system default to deny when there is no match, so there is not much benefit to use it in the most cases.
Read: when policy matches the user will be given access to read the file, but any change they made through the application will not be saved into APF file.
Write: when policy matches, the user will be given access to read the file, and the changes they made through application will be saved into APF file.
Meta Rule Term match
System matches all the file owned by the user to the Meta rules automatically so no groups is needed. This help to manage large amount of file with similar access conditions. Meta Rule is available only to paid account.
It allows only one term per policy. The term is phrase that will be matching to the file Tag. No regular expression or wild card allowed.
If it is not Meta rule, at least one group has to be selected. Multiple groups can be selected for a rule. If you don’t see the right group, click on the button to the right to create a new group.
Permission Flip date
This is optional and it will change the permission after the set the date
Rules has 2 state, active and inactive. Only active rules can be assigned and evaluated. Newly created rule is inactive so it need to be activated before it can be assigned to files.
To activate the policy, select the policy and click on “Activate” button. APF manage will show confirmation and change “Is Active” column
Now the rule is ready to be assigned.
Personal policy can be edited through APF Manager. To edit a policy, select the policy and click on “Edit” button on the top right corner.
It brings up window that is similar to the new policy window but with information form selected policy prepopulated.
Following the procedure as creating new policy to make changes.
Below shows that the rule create earlier is now being added one more group and had expiration date.
Note, Change of group member will be reflected in the access rules.
When it is determined a policy is no long needed, user can simple deactivate the policy. Once the policy is being deactivated, it no longer has impact on the access control to the files the policy is assigned.
To deactivate a policy, select the policy from the list and click on “Deactivate” button. This button is activated only when the selected policy is active one.
AFP manage gives user easy access to the files to which the selected rule is assigned. This allows user to make the right decision on rule change or determine the file access right.
To find out the files that has the rule assigned, select the rule and click the button labeled “Assigned File”.
It will bring up a panel that has all the files that are assigned with this rule listed.
The clouds assigned to you will be displayed on APF File Manager when you log in. This is the only way you can access the APF Cloud storage.
The cloud storage is configured and assigned by administrator. Depends on your organization, you may have access to group shared storage and/or personal storage. While personal storage is visible only to you, shared group storage will be accessible to everyone assigned to the storage.
Cloud storage doesn’t offer any access control by itself, it is designed to hold APF file which is already being access controlled. It means on shared storage, your files is exposed to everyone who has access to the storage, so we recommend to use shared storage to store APF files only.
The name of storage indicate the type of storage:
Personal: access to assigned user only
Group: shared access to anyone who belongs to the group
The file browser support upload through right click menu. It allows to pick from available storage.
Select the local file on the file browser, right click of the mouse will bring up the menu to upload to available cloud storage, or user the “Upload to Cloud” button on the menu bar. Select the right cloud bucket.
A dialog opens allows to type in the full path on the cloud. If the folder does not exist, APF manage will create it.
Batch Upload to Cloud
APF manage supports batch upload to the cloud so large amount file can be moved quickly.
Start Batch upload
Upload Multiple Files function can be access through Hamburg menu on the top left corner. Select “Cloud Option” and then “Upload Multiple File”.
Select the cloud storage from dropdown menu
Fill in the folder on the cloud storage to hold the files:
Clicking on “Add File” button brings up file chooser that allows to add files. Select files and click on “Open” adds files to the batch. This steps can be repeated to add more files from different directories.
Once all selection is done, it is time to run the batch
Run the Batch
Click “Run Batch” button to start the batch run. It bring up a status window on the right which shows the progress of the batch and status of each file.
Cancel the batch
Click on “Cancel Batch” stops the batch run on rest of the files. It will not reverse the files that has been uploaded.
Download file from the cloud to local machine
Select the file on the cloud storage, a right clock of mouse brings up the menu, or you can use “Download” Button on the menu bar
Select Download, it bring up a dialog to choose the local folder for the file.
APF manage supports opening APF file directly from cloud, there is no need to download file to local first. Simply select the APF file and click “Open” or “Open with“.
APF manage support save changes made through application directly to the cloud file. There is no extra step needed.
When APF manger saves changes to the APF files on the cloud, it first check if the APF file has changed since the file being opened by the user to avoid override other user’s change, since the same file can be accessed and changed by other users. Once it detects the APF file on the cloud has changes, it will prompt user to save it in a new APF file on the local drive. User can choose to save it or reject it. If user reject it, the change will not be saved to the APF file. If user chose to save it to local storage, APF manager brings up a windows to allow use to choose the folder to hold the APF file. This new APF file retains the same file name and Meta data. User can later reconcile with other users.
Settings and account profile can be managed through “Setting menu” under the Hamburg menu at the top left corner. You can view and change your profile including upgrade to APF Plus, emails and phone number. You can also change your password and initiate the upgrade to new version and check your account usage, including protected files, cloud bucket and cloud storage.
Upgrade to APF Plus and Change profile
APF Plus is paid premium account. It provide many benefits to accommodate your growing need to protect more of your digital asses and a better way to share them among the family members. The benefit being APF Plus account clearly outweighs the small fees
1. Select up to 4 members to join your plus circle and share the increased resources
2. APF Protected file quota increase to 5000 shared by all circle member from 200 per member, and it grows by 500 every year.
3. Cloud bucket count increases to 50 shared by all circle member from 4 per member
4. Cloud storage quota increases to 1G shared by all circle member from 50M per member
5. Only available to Plus account, Meta Access Rules allows to manage access control for large number of files at easy. With Mata policy, there is no need to assign access rules to individual file any more, just to add the right tag terms
6. Protected file can now be designated as owned by the circle. This enables all the circle member to manage the access of those files since they all are the owner. This spread the responsibilities and provides more flexibility. It also allow automatic access to those files by circle member without extra access rules.
7. More available cloud storage allow much easier sharing among family and friends.
8. Individual privacy remains as each member remain sole control of the protected files that are not designated as owned by the circle.
To upgrade to the APF plus, open profile windows though the “Setting” menu and then “Profile”, Click on the button “Upgrade to APF Plus” on the top right. It will bring you to the upgrade window where you can add payment. Once your payment is being varied, you will be able to access the “APF Plus” menu to add members to you circle.
Important to note that if you want to quite the APF Plus after joining, you need to ensure resources usage for your member is under free tier quota, or they may lose access to some of the files and cloud bucket when the quota are being enforced after the their account return to free tier. To make sure you are making the right decision, we provides 30 day free trial.
APF Plus 30 day Free Trial
Each free account has one free trial for APF Plus. To start free trial, you need to initiate the upgrade process and provide payment method. We will verify the payment method but will not charge it until the end of 30 day trial. You can cancel it any time during the trial and remove the payment method without any obligation. If you decided to cancel, please make sure you and all your circle member do not exceed the free tier quota for protected files and cloud storage. Those quota will be enforced and you may lose access to some files.
As best practice, we recommend to use the trial to test all the benefit but not utilize the resources heavily until you have made decision to continue. It can be messy to reverse back if you end up too far over the free tier quota and decide to end the APF Plus.
Change the Profile
Besides upgrade, you can change your communication method and other items. For security reason, you can only change one emails or phone number at a time. If any changes are made to the profile, an email alert will be send to existing email accounts to notify the owner of the changes.
You can user the “Change password” window to change password. A notification will be send to your email accounts for the change.
You can view your current account usage here, including protected file counts, cloud bucket counts and cloud storage.
You can check if upgrade is available and start upgrade process here