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Using a VPN is a terrific way to shield your internet traffic when you are traveling, but it's not a solution for encrypting your regional files. .
When the FBI needed information from the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, they asked Apple to get a rear door to get past the encryption. But no such back door existed, and Apple refused to make one. The FBI needed to hire hackers to get into the phone.
Why wouldn't Apple help Since the moment a rear door or comparable hack is different, it will become a goal, a decoration for the poor guys. It'll leak sooner or later. In a discussion at Black Hat last summer, Apple's Ivan Krstic disclosed that the company has done something similar in their cryptographic servers.
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Apple can't update them, but the bad guys can't get in either. .
Each the products in this roundup explicitly state they have no back door, and that is as it should be. It does mean that if you encrypt an essential document and then forget that the encryption password, you have lost it for good.
Back in the day, if you wanted to maintain a document secret you could use a cipher to encrypt it and then burn the original. Or you could lock it up in a safe. The two main methods in encryption utilities parallel with these options.
One sort of product simply procedures files and folders, turning them into impenetrable encrypted versions of these. Another creates a virtual disc that, when open, behaves like any other drive on your system. When you lock the virtual drive, each of the documents you put into it's completely inaccessible. .
Like the virtual drive solution, some products save your encrypted information in the cloud. This strategy demands extreme care, obviously. Encrypted information in the cloud has a far larger attack surface than encrypted data on your own PC.
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That is better It really depends on how you plan on using encryption. If you're not sure, take advantage of this 30-day free trial offered by each one of those products to get a sense of the different options.
Once you copy a file into protected storage, or create an encrypted version of it, then you absolutely need to wipe out the unencrypted original. Just deleting it isn't sufficient, even in the event that you bypass the Recycle Bin, since the data still exists on disc, and data recovery utilities can often return back. .
Some encryption products avoid this problem by encrypting the document in place, literally overwriting it on disc with an encrypted version. It is more common, though, to provide secure deletion as an option. If you select a product that lacks this attribute, you should find a free secure deletion tool to use along with it. .
Overwriting data before deletion is sufficient to balk software-based retrieval tools. Hardware-based forensic recovery functions since the magnetic recording of data on a hard drive isn't actually digital. It is more of a waveform. In simple terms, the procedure involves nulling out the known data and reading around the borders of what is left.
An encryption algorithm is like a black box. Dump a document, picture, or other document into it, and you get back what seems like gibberish. Run that gibberish back through the box, using the exact same password, and you get back the original.
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The U.S. government has settled on Advanced Encryption see this site Standard (AES) as a standard, and all of the products accumulated here support AES. Even the ones that support other algorithms tend to recommend using AES.
If you are an encryption specialist, you may prefer another algorithm, Blowfish, perhaps, or even the Soviet government's GOST. For the average consumer, however, AES is just fine.
Passwords are important, and you have to keep them confidential, right Well, not when you use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) cryptography.
With PKI, you get two keys. One is public; you can discuss it with anyone, register it in an integral exchange, tattoo it on your foreheadwhatever you like. Another is private, company website and needs to be carefully guarded. If I want to send you a key document, I simply encrypt it with your public key.
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Using this system in reverse, you can create an electronic signature which proves your document came from you and hasn't been modified. How Just encrypt it with your private key. The simple fact that your public key decrypts it is all the evidence you need. PKI support is less common than support for traditional symmetric algorithms. .
If you want to talk about a document with someone and your encryption tool doesn't support PKI, there are different options for sharing. Many products allow creation of a self-decrypting executable file. You may also find that the recipient can use a complimentary, decryption-only tool.