Sunday, February 21st, 2010 (No comments yet
Assuming you do everything right and hackers and bad code never manage to make it into your system, you're still at risk for someone stealing your computer physically (particularly in the case of laptops). For this reason, it's important to take the time to learn how to use file encryption.
For Windows users, there is an option to make your files private, but in most versions of Windows, this doesn't work very well. Without getting really nerdy-technical as to why, let's just say that having a separate encryption program is a good idea.
Encryption made easy
In cases where your computer is stolen or if you are worried about anyone you know accessing certain folders and files on your computer, you might want to protect them behind strong encryption.
Truecrypt lets you create an encrypted file container that works like a folder, but looks as if it were a file full of random data. To use the encrypted container, you select it in Truecrypt, enter your password (which should be a very strong one), and the program will "mount" the file as if it were a removable hard drive on your system.
While mounted, you can copy files and folder to and from your "drive" and organize them as if it were a second hard drive or thumb drive plugged into your computer. When you're done, you "dismount" the container and it returns to its strongly encrypted state while looking like a simple file full of random data.
It's easy to set up and use as the documentation is very straighforward and includes a step-by-step walkthrough with pictures.
|Make sure you have a up-to-date Anti-Virus Program to protect you against bad websites or files.|
|Sometimes spyware gets in your computer and the anti-virus won't stop it. Use a spyware scanner to find and remove spyware and adware.|
|Use a software firewall to detect bad code on your computer when it tries to connect to the Internet.|
|Switch to Firefox for your web browsing and you'll be better protected from Internet threats.|
Safe Computing Practices