Security informational articles

Its time to sing the encryption song - again! - confidence


Yes, I'm exhausting my encryption hat again. Why you may ask? Well I just completed conception about the newest confidence hole in Microsoft's most modern ma?tre d' product. Then fasten that with all the fresh hacker activity, new intelligence from the GAO (that's the Command Accounting Office) that the administration can't care for it's own computers and data much less the data WE send them, hearsay that cpu theft is on the rise and news that the FBI is now budding a new laptop "worm" (read virus) to spy on citizens, I absolute to sing the encryption song again. This time I'll sing a verse about delicate data encryption.

So what do I mean by delicate data encryption? I mean ANY data on ANY storage space avenue that relates to you, your category or your business. Encryption is the deal with of scrambling electronic data in such a way that it's unreadable to all but the owner.

For the purposes of this condition I'll cover two altered ways to encrypt data and the pros and cons of each.

The first way is file/folder encryption. This is the administer by which a big shot identifies what data they want to guard on a file by file or folder basis and then encodes each file or folder using some kind of software encryption tool.

What are the pros of this style of encryption? First, each file or folder can be assigned its own "encryption key". Then, even if one key gets "cracked" open, all the other files or folders will still be safe. Next, only those files and folders you categorize and choice will be encrypted. This allows for a "gnat's behind" level of assign that some folks need to feel secure.

What are the cons of file or folder level encryption? Well, at this level of detail, tracking of all the assorted encryption keys and file locations would be an administrative nightmare! So, but for you have days to spend identifying files and folders and encrypting them or if you are really, exceedingly into details, file level encryption just isn't applied for most people.

The back up way to care for not public data is drive encryption. Disparate file encryption, drive level encryption allows a user to conceive a cold area on the hard drive called a container. Once created, this container can be "mounted" or set to act like a different fully functional hard drive on a computer. It will act in the file boss just like any other drive.

What are the pros for drive encryption? This space can be "mounted" using a definite encryption key and the key only needs to be entered once. After it's mounted, this virtual drive can control any data and / or program, just like any consistent drive. But when it's dismounted, the virtual drive is no longer discernible and the container looks like any other file, the inside of which are finally inaccessible not including the encryption key.

What's the down side to drive encryption? If you fail to remember your key, all the data and / or course in order in the container is lost. Also, all the in sequence is only confined by a distinct key. So if your key is compromised, all your in rank is free to interfering eyes.

What's my recommendation? Drive encryption. Drive encryption is far more competent than file encryption in particular if you need to admission your data frequently. Drive encryption also allows for the absolute encryption of programs, a bit almost hopeless to do with file level encryption. (Well not hopeless but definitely knotty and time consuming!) And by creating an encryption key of enough size and complexity, the distinct key issue becomes approximately moot.

One site I visited freshly affirmed that it would take one million computers the stage one million operations per be with approximately 11 trillion years to crack a 128 bit encryption key! So, by using an encryption key of about 64 arbitrary characters, a hacker would need manifold life times to crack open your files.

There are quite a few programs free online for both file and drive encryption. All these programs be at variance in functionality, price, encryption algorithms and interfaces. The best way to proceed is to do a explore from your desired examination engine on encryption tools and read about the options available.

Don't wait! The day will come when your coordination gets compromised by some hacker or thief or FBI agent and then you'll wish you had secluded your data.

Privacy is your right! Bring to bear it!

Michael Ameye has been increasing web sites since 1995. He happening copy about online privacy issues to key questions from family, acquaintances and co-workers. Visit http://www. canyourspam. com to see his most modern work.

He is also the chief editor of PSS Online, A Privacy, Security and Confidence eZine devoted to bringing critical in a row to colonize in order to advance a safer more acquire atmosphere - online and off. Visit http://www. pssonline. info to subscribe.


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