About Encryption and Making Your System Secure

Sep 2, 2014
About Encryption and Making Your System Secure

What does encryption do for me?

Encryption and cryptographic software has been used in many
different ways to make systems more secure. This article
discusses only a few ways that such software can make your
system more secure, including:

1) Encrypting your email

2) Encrypting your files

To programs are mentioned that will help encrypt
information. There are many more programs out there that
will help, but these programs are good and a good place to
start as any. They have the added benefit of both being
free with source code available.

Will encryption stop people from accessing my information?

Encryption simply makes it harder for people to gain access
to important information, like passwords or sensitive
information in a file. The first thing you should know
about encryption is that the algorithm that is used to
encrypt can be simple or more complex and that affects how
securely what you have encrypted is protected. Encryption
systems have been broken when the method of encryption is
understood by hackers and is easy to break.

Why bother to encrypt my email?

It should be noted that email is far less secure than paper
mail for two very good reasons: first, electronic data can
be accessed easily over an Internet and secondly,
electronic data is really simple to copy. There is a very
good chance that someone has snooped around in your email
despite your best intentions to stop it.

How do I go about encrypting my email?

There are many programs out there that can help you encrypt
your email. A very popular one is PGP (Pretty Good
Privacy) or its Gnu offshoot GPG.

PGP (http://www.pgpi.org/) self-describes itself this way:
This "is a program that gives your electronic mail
something that it otherwise doesn't have: Privacy. It does
this by encrypting your mail so that nobody but the
intended person can read it. When encrypted, the message
looks like a meaningless jumble of random characters. PGP
has proven itself quite capable of resisting even the most
sophisticated forms of analysis aimed at reading the
encrypted text."

Why bother to encrypt my files?

The answer to this boils down to what you store on your
computer. If you have financial data with important
information like social security numbers, email addresses,
account numbers and passwords, then you open yourself up to
losing very valuable information. Most corporate Internet
security employees will attest to the widespread theft of
very valuable information. As long as you are connected to
the Internet you are vulnerable.

How do I go about encrypting my files?

AxCrypt File Encryption Software
(http://axcrypt.sourceforge.net/) Self-described as "Free
Personal Privacy and Security for Windows 98/ME/NT/2K/XP
with AES-128 File Encryption, Compression and transparent
Decrypt and Open in the original application."