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I am not a Sophos user and she (my wife) has no IT experience. All our Marriage certificates, IDs, testaments and proof of residence documents are now encrypted...
It seems the encryption was purchased with the PC, now long gone. ALL the backup files all show a header of:
SafeGuard FileEncryptionCopyright 1998-2013 Sophos Group. All rights reserved. SafeGuard is a registered trademark of Sophos
Is there any way I can recover these documents?
Sorry to hear this.
Do you recall anything about the install? Was this an old company PC that was used at home? Does she or you recall anything about the original purchase of the product?
I think best to launch a support ticket with Sophos in the interim.
it is unlikely that that the encryption came with the PC, as SafeGuard is not a consumer product and needs to be hosted by someone managing the encryption policies, recovery etc.
As MichaelMcLannahan suspected the Software might have come from a (previous) employer (e.g. an old notebook from work which was taken over).
The point is, the encrypted file can only be decrypted by someone in possession of the required key. If you can find out who hosted the corresponding SafeGuard backend, they are the only ones who might be able to help and decrypt the files.
I´m afraid there is no other option, also Sophos cannot decrypt the files for you. The whole point of having files encrypted, is preventing someone without the required key getting access to the content.
I would just like to reiterate and confirm to the fact what Funkey mentioned, Safeguard Enterprise is not a consumer product, hence it wouldn't have come along with the machine. Unless you have the required key, there is no way that we could decrypt the files.