Securing Data

Why should I secure my data?

With all of the news regarding fraud, identity theft, and personal information being exposed over the web, securing information is has become a never-ending battle at keeping one’s own information and identity safe. And, even though you may feel that an attacker would never bother with you since there are others out there with way more to lose, attackers would be more than happy to use your identity or machine to further their own personal gain.

What can I do to prevent this?

Encryption technology is yet another method to prevent attackers from exploiting any information by obfuscating the data through the use of cryptographic processes.

Encryption tools

Here are some of the more popular tools that are used to help secure the data on a machine.

  • Windows Encryption File System (EFS) – Windows provides the ability to encrypt files and folders so that no other user is able to view the data. Microsoft provides a list of best practices for data encryption on the Windows platform.
  • TrueCrypt – This is a free multiplatform open-source encryption tool. TrueCrypt is able to provide “on-the-fly” encryption of files, non-system partitions, devices (USB keys) or an entire system drive.
  • BitLocker – This is available on Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate editions and encrypts the operating system, user files, including swap and hibernation files. Microsoft provides a step-by-step guide for configuring BitLocker.
  • FileVault2 – This feature is available on the Mac OS X Lion (10.7) operating system and later. Filevault encrypts a user’s home directory and can be used in combination with Disk Utility to provide encryption on different volumes.