Encryption refers to the process of protecting data against people whom you would not want to see it. For instance, when you are purchasing something from an online selling website, your computer encrypts the information so that prying eyes will not be able to steal your personal information as it is transferred through the transaction.
At the same time, if you have a file stored in your computer that you would like to keep to yourself only, the file can be encrypted so that nobody else can have access to the file unless a password is provided. Encryption is applicable in many things, including sending sensitive data, securing your email account, ensuring that your cloud storage is safe, as well as in hiding your operating system completely.
Encryption is commonly used to protect data, whether at rest or in transit. To achieve this level of protection, appropriate key management is crucial, and it is accomplished with the help of encryption software. However, before getting to the depths of the features of these encryption software options, it is helpful for any internet user to understand and learn the basics of encryption.
It is very important to understand the potential consequences of not being able to implement appropriate key management. When a key reaches the wrong hands, the possibility of unauthorized access to any information may occur.
Data in transit often have keys that are generated right at the time of use. This includes SSL (HTTPS) for internet transport. They are considered temporary and are protected against eavesdropping during transit. However, once they are delivered to their destination, they are no longer encrypted.
Data at rest, on the other hand, need to be encrypted with the use of a key which has a longer lifespan. At this point, proper key management is vital. If this key is destroyed or lost, essential information may no longer become available to personnel who are authorized. These keys should stay secret throughout their lifespan for them to be useful and effective.
Note that encryption is not a substitute for actual security measures that should be implemented, including authorization, authentication, as well as access control. It is meant to be a compliment. A thorough analysis of potential software options is important in order to determine the applicability of encryption. This is important because of the presence of several encryption software options.
Levels of Security
At its very core, encryption in your computer involves some complex processes. In fact, there various types of encryption that use several decoder rings. There are also various security levels involved with encryption. For example, some are more secure, though they may take longer to decode. A few of them, on the other hand, are considered as 100% foolproof.
Why the Need for Encryption?
If you are wondering whether there is a need for you to encrypt your files, there is no need to doubt. Encryption is a necessary process if you want to protect your data. They can get stolen without your permission, even though you may not get a hold of your computer. A person with a bad intention basically just requires a few minutes tinkering on their keyboard, and they can already retrieve any data that they want. A simple login password is not enough to protect you, because breaking into a computer that is protected by a password is very easy for these experts.
As a general rule, if you consider yourself as an average user, it may not be best to encrypt your entire drive, unless your computer is filled with sensitive files. You may also have other reasons to encrypt everything. Complete disk encryption, on the other hand, is far more secure, though it may still present some problems, especially if you do not perform the needed tasks in backup up everything safely, and encrypting the backups at the same time.
Encryption Software Options
There is a lot of encryption software that is available these days. One of them, and by far, one of the most popular, is TrueCrypt. Among other options include 7-Zip and BitLocker. The latter is available with Pro Version, Enterprise Version, and the Ultimate Versions.
You may have already heard of the term encryption several times before but have no idea what it does and what it is meant to achieve. Now that you have read the content above, you are now covered. The details mentioned are just an introduction to encryption, giving you access to basic things such as when you need to use it, and how it should be set up accordingly. It should be noted, as well, that even encryption is not all completely foolproof. However, it is still a better way of protecting your files than leaving them out in the open.