My credit card statements, documents containing my phone number, social security number, address and date of birth are some of those papers which I always shred before dumping those to a trash bin. I simply don’t want them to be read by anyone else except me and similar security I want for my electronic documents or files. Solution is there, “File Encryption Software”. If you don’t know about it let me brief you about it first.
Encryption is the process of encoding messages (or information) in such a way that the third parties cannot read it, but the authorized parties can. In this process the original message is encrypted using a complex algorithm and a key is generated which is later used by the authorized party on the receiving end to decrypt the message back to original one.
Sender -> Original message + Encryption Algorithm + Key = Encrypted message
Receiver-> Encrypted message + Decryption Algorithm + Key = Original message.
There are plenty of secure File Encryption software(s) available in market which will encrypt your files and folders. You can then transfer those to intended destinations where the file decryption software will be used with the key to access the original file. Make sure the file or folder is removed completely from the hard disk once you are done with Encryption process. Though in computers un-shredding is also possible but not without proper key or password. Generally this is taken care by any good file encryption software. For further security all the operations on the files you encrypt are logged and you can track any activities on those files.
There are few things which you keep in mind before going for File Encryption software;
- The algorithm it uses must be long time tested and secure, go for AES (Advanced Encryption standard).
- Software is certified, FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) certification will help you here.
- Automatic shredding should be the integral part of the Encryption software.
- Does it support portability of files you want to encrypt?
- Check about the minimum specifications required before implementation. What configurations it supports are important to look at.
- What is actual cost – It includes one-time cost and cost for maintenance, upgrades etc.
- Does it have simple and intuitive interface?
- You may also like to enquire about deniable encryption.
- What if the key is lost somehow?
- Comes with a good password generator or not?
- How about the speed? Will it make your computer slow?
- Does it come with hack attempt monitoring?
- What about help and support.
- Does it come with a trial version?
As we know, information that is private can be embarrassing if released to the public. Losing personal information to the wrong person can result in identity theft. Lots of worry, lots of stress, and none of it necessary, always select good file encryption software to safeguard your data. And if you need deeper level of security, you can opt for disk encryption along with file encryption software(s).
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