When you access Web sites from your computer or transfer data from one computer to another, always remember that there is always the danger of inadvertently making yourself vulnerable to hackers that may be present within your local area network or wireless local area network. You need to protect the data stored in your files and folders. This can be achieved through security encryption.
With today’s user-friendly software, encrypting files is easier than it’s ever been. When sending an e-mail, for example, a user can just choose to click a button on the menu to encrypt an outgoing message. But encryption is not and should not only be applied when using the Internet. As a data security protocol, encryption should be used when storing files in computers with multiple users; and before transferring files through compact discs, floppy disks, and other external memory devices. This way, your data remains inaccessible to unauthorized personnel.
Choosing the right kind of encryption system and software largely depends on the level of security you need. If you are person e-mailing highly classified files, you may need to use a more sophisticated encryption method than the ordinary guy down at the local Internet café sharing mp3s or pictures through peer-to-peer sharing. More stringent security encryption is used by large corporations and government agencies that deal with sensitive and top secret information. Their encryption systems are based on highly advanced algorithms and multiple combinations of passwords and pass keys.
Encryption software that is available to the general public must meet certain standards such as the AES standard. This ensures consumers that they are protected sufficiently and according to the specifications advertised.
There is also free security encryption software available for download from the Internet. While these programs may not be as sophisticated as those used by the government agencies, they can hold their own against minor hackers and may even deter would-be saboteurs.
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