Did you know that it takes 10 hours to encrypt a terrabyte external hard disk with a rather fast machine using TrueCrypt? I didn’t, but I found out today *grins*.
Although some parts of the government will not agree with me, I think nowadays encryption becomes more and more important. We all have information that we want to protect from others. Yes, I dare to say we all do…
Lets have a look at mail. Mail is nowadays a very important way to communicate with others. Yet many people do not realize that a normal sent mail has no more protection than a postcard. Anyone who gets hold of it can read it (and yes, it is very possible to get a copy of a mail while it “travels” from one mail server to another).
Now for some mails it will be no problem that everyone can read it (just as with a postcard), but I am convinced that there many mails going around that are only meant to be read by addressee. And that doesn’t mean that the content of mail is right away “top secret”, but it just be personal somehow.
Encryption is here the solution. With a number of people with who I talk about personal matters (as Marion and Sanne) I often encrypt my mails. The program I use for this is GnuPG (Open Source, so free to use). GnuPG makes it possible that only the correct addressee has the means to decrypt the message and reads the content. So just like mail was placed into a secure envelope and was transported as a registered mail that only may be delivered to the addressee in person.
GnuPG also makes it possible that while the message is readable I can proof that message was sent by me (so called “signing” of a mail).
I will not go into details how GnuPG exactly works. There are many very good resource on the net available for that.
But there is more onto encryption…
On our desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets we store a lot of information. And again, some of this information may not be meant to be seen by everyone’s eyes. For example, I could understand that you don’t want everyone to be able to see your tax data. Or maybe there are letters and other documents that are somehow personal that you want to keep private. Same can be said about photo’s.
Specially mobile devices as laptops, smart phones, tablets and external hard disks are a potential danger for losing private information. Mobile means that they are more easy to lose or to be stolen. But also a desktop can be stolen from your home…
So also for data stored on computers and other devices there is a need to encrypt information.
The program I use for this TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt makes it possible to create secure encrypted containers on your hard disk or encrypt complete devices (again, there are many resources on the net available how TrueCrypt works, so that is no subject for here).
As soon as if I even consider something on my desktops personal or private I create a TrueCrypt container for it.
All my external hard disks are completely encrypted with TrueCrypt. So if one gets lost or stolen, there will be only some hardware lost as the information stored on it is not accessible for strangers.
And so I know that it takes 10 hours to encrypt a one terrabyte hard disk. I started to encrypt this external hard disk and it is almost done.
Yes, (local) governments are not really happy that private people encrypt data, because that means information is way out of their reach. And that is something most governments don’t like.
There was here in The Netherlands an attempt to get encryption forbidden, but luckily that failed completely.
To be short: Encryption is a very interesting subject to learn more about, but basically it is simple… It is the only way to secure your stored information….
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