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Using a VPN is a great way to protect your internet traffic when you are traveling, but it is not a solution for encrypting your regional files. .
When the FBI needed information from the San Bernardino shot's iPhone, they asked Apple to get a rear door to get beyond the encryption. But no such back door existed, and Apple refused to create one. The FBI needed to hire hackers to get into the phone.
Why wouldn't Apple help Because the moment a rear door or comparable hack is different, it becomes a target, a decoration for the poor guys. It'll leak sooner or later. In a discussion at Black Hat this past summer, Apple's Ivan Krstic revealed the company has done something similar in their cryptographic servers.
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Apple can't update them, but the poor guys can't get in either. .
Each the products in this roundup explicitly state they have no back door, and that's as it ought to be. It does mean that if you encrypt an essential document and then forget the encryption password, then you have lost it for good.
Back in the day, in the event that you wanted to maintain a document secret you can use a cipher to encrypt it and then burn the original. Or you might lock it up in a safe. The two main methods in encryption utilities parallel these options.
One sort of product simply processes files and folders, turning them into impenetrable encrypted versions of these. The other creates a virtual disc drive that, when open, acts like any other drive on your system. When you lock the virtual drive, each of the documents that you put into it are entirely inaccessible. .
Similar to the digital drive solution, some goods store your encrypted information in the cloud. This approach requires extreme caution, obviously. Encrypted data in the cloud has a far bigger attack surface than encrypted data on your own PC.
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That is better It actually depends on how you plan on using encryption. If you are not sure, take advantage of this 30-day free trial offered by each one of those products to get a feel for the different options.
Once you copy a document into secure storage, or create an encrypted version of it, then you absolutely need to wipe the unencrypted original. Simply deleting it isn't sufficient, even if you skip the Recycle Bin, because the data still exists on disc, and data recovery utilities can often return back. .
Some encryption products prevent this problem by encrypting the document in location, literally overwriting it on disc with an encrypted version. It is more common, though, to offer safe deletion as an option. If you choose something that lacks this feature, you should find a free secure deletion tool to use along with it. .
Overwriting information before deletion is sufficient to balk software-based recovery tools. Hardware-based informative post forensic retrieval works since the magnetic recording of information on a hard drive isn't actually digital. It's more of a waveform. In simple terms, the procedure involves nulling out the known data and reading around the borders of what's left.
An encryption algorithm is similar to a black box. Dump a document, picture, or other file into it, and you get back what sounds like gibberish. Run that gibberish back via the box, with the exact same password, and you get back the original.
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The U.S. government has settled on Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) as a standard, and all of the products accumulated here service 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 typical user, however, AES is just fine.
Passwords are important, and you must 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 share it with anyone, enroll it in an integral exchange, tattoo it on your foreheadwhatever you like. Another is personal, and should 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 a digital signature which shows that your document came from you and hasn't been altered. How Exactly To encrypt it with your private key. The fact that your public key decrypts it's all of the evidence you need. PKI service is less common than support for traditional symmetric algorithms. .
If you want to share a file with someone and your encryption tool doesn't support PKI, there are different options for sharing. Many products enable creation of a self-decrypting executable file. You could also find that the recipient can use a free, decryption-only tool.