Encryption is a process in which data can be organised so only the selected or allowed people or parties can access it.
Having something encrypted does not stop anyone from holding, or intercepting your data, but rather it basically stops someone from being able to read it or make any sense of it at all.
Although it sounds very technical and complicated (the process of encrypting or decrypting is) there are tools out there which make it effortless for someone like you or I to encrypt our information.
Why would someone want to encrypt their data?
In a nutshell; so other people can not see or access your data.
On the surface it might seem a little sinister to want to keep your data private. But in a technological age like we are in now where everything about your life is kept on a computer such as personal information, bank details, finance information or even private thoughts, there is a greater need more than ever to keep your files private and out from the eyes of people who can use it against you.
It use to be people broke into your house and jumped through a window to steal or hurt you. Its a lot easier now, they come in over your telephone line and straight into your computer to access just about all areas of your life!
How can I protect and Encrypt my data?
You can download and use for free a tool called DiskCryptor.
Diskcryptor is an open source project and free for anyone to use and develop. You might think because it is free and open source that it is less secure, its free right, how good can it be?
But quite the contrary Open Source projects are even more secure. The code which makes it is readily available to the public to add to and scrutinise. There fore there are many people developing it and can easily identify any vulnerabilities etc.
Simply download Diskcryptor from the link above and install it going through the install prompt process. It is supported by all Windows operating system.
If you are using a Mac Computer you do not have to download and install any software.
First make sure your OsX operating system is up to date and then go to System Preferences then File Vault and turn it on. It will probably ask you for a password and most new macs come with this already enabled.
If it isn’t, it might take a little bit more time to encrypt your whole drive.
Like always back up all your information before you make any major changes or additions to your computer, laptop or data. Always backup!