There is no “best” encryption software for your home computer
But there is the “worst” encryption software
Remember the need for keeping safe and storing your encryption keys
So you feel the need to protect the data in your home computer. It’s only natural. You may have scans of bank of statements stored in these machines, in an effort to eliminate clutter (just don’t forget to use a shredder on your paper statements). Or, you may have pictures and e-mails of loved ones stored in them.
Unlike ten years ago, the modern computer is now a central part of many people’s homes in terms of entertainment, education, and communication. Regardless of what you have in them, one thing’s for certain: your home computer is a treasure trove of information. So, how do you protect yourself? Do you hire ADT?
That wouldn’t be a bad idea; you may want to consider getting yourself some home insurance as well. But if you’re concerned about what could happen in the event that your computer is stolen, there is only one solution: encrypt your data using data security software like AlertBoot. The insurance company won’t prevent thieves from accessing your computer. The guys sent by ADT might, but only if the thieves are caught.
There Is No Best Encryption – And That’s A Good Thing
Encryption is the process of using mathematical formulas to scramble your data. There are many different encryption algorithms (another word for mathematical formula) out there in the world. Two of the most respect and widely used are AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and RSA (Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman – the creators of this particular algorithm).
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for the “best” encryption, you’re out of luck. Not even the experts are able to tell you which one is the best. But that’s what happens when you’re dealing with top products: is a Bugatti better than an Aston Martin? Rembrandt or Caravaggio? Peanut butter or jelly? Some will say one, some will say the other.
This is not so bad. In fact, it’s a great thing. There are so many outstanding encryption algorithms out there that you can pick whichever suits your needs. If you find that you’re not sure which one to go with, go with one of the two above.
The Worst Encryption – In-house Developed And Not Properly Vetted
The flipside of the coin is that there are not-so-outstanding encryption algorithms out there as well. Believe it or not, it’s pretty hard to develop these formulas for scrambling your data, and it’s the reason why there’s only a handful of encryption algorithms that are used by organizations that need data security, like the various intelligence and military agencies across the globe.
If you’re going to properly protect your data, make sure that the algorithm powering the encryption software has been properly vetted by professionals. Some companies will claim that they won’t allow the algorithm to be investigated, because that would make overall security of your data “weaker.”
This is hogwash. RSA and AES have opened up their algorithms for public scrutiny, and can protect your data despite the scrutiny. (They’re that good.)
Why is this pubic vetting important? Because there usually is a flaw in algorithms that wasn’t picked up by the developers (remember how I said it was hard to create these formulas?) Unleash thousands of brains on the algorithm, and usually one is able to find that flaw. An algorithm with a flaw is unacceptable because once someone figures the flaw, all documents that were ever encrypted will be vulnerable! There won’t even be a need to figure out passwords and encryption keys in order to gain access to the data!
If you will, it’s like finding that the bank vault floor has a manhole connecting to the sewage system. There’s no need to pretend to be a guard, or to buy clown masks, or to create fake IDs. Why risk getting shot at if you can just wade through crap when everyone is sleeping and gain access to where the money’s at?
Keeping Encryption Keys Safe – For Your Sake
Once you implement encryption, there are a couple of things you have to do. One of them, for example, is keeping safe from others the passwords for unscrambling your encrypted information. This goes without saying.
What most people are not aware of, though, is that they also have to keep safe their encryption key. What is this key? Remember, the encryption algorithm is a formula, and everyone uses the same formula. So why is it that Jim’s password for unscrambling his data doesn’t work on Susan’s data over there? The answer is the encryption key.
The encryption key is a string of random characters, not unlike what your passwords should be like, and is used in conjunction with the algorithm to protect data. However, these keys are really long and really random. There’s no way you’d be able to remember them — and type them without making mistakes — every time you required access to your data. Which is why you’re given passwords: the encryption software scrambles your data using the key, and decides whether you should have access to the key based on your passwords, which you (hopefully) can remember.
If for some reason you lose this key, you lose your data forever (it works a little differently for passwords, since passwords can usually be reset).
This may be one of the reasons why people decide to sign up with centrally managed encryption software like AlertBoot.
AlertBoot would ensure that the encryption keys are backed up, so, if something ever happens to your computer (a hard disk fails, for example), you’d have a chance to recover your data. Plus, 24/7 support for password recovery is offered, in case you forget your password. And because everything is done over the internet, implementing encryption on hundreds of computers is as easy as doing it on one computer. Such additional services may be something to consider when you’re looking for encryption software.