FAQS - ENCRYPTING YOUR DATA
WHAT IS DATA ENCRYPTION?
Encryption has been around for thousands of years, complex mechanical encryption since the beginning of the 20th century, and with the advent of computers things got interesting, then with the advent of home and personal computers and electronic communication it got really interesting.
So what is it, you have some data - say your name - Tom Blogs - take that and move every character up or down in the alphabet - Unn Amnhr - you get something that looks nothing like Tom Blogs. That is encryption - you take what you have, apply an encryption code - a set of rules on how you are going to change it, then you have encrypted data. You then have to reverse the operation to decrypt the data, or have the decryption codes.
There lays the issue of all encryption - who knows the codes - how do you get the codes to the person you want to decrypt the data securely - is it complex enough that smart people with computers can't just crack the codes given time.
DO I NEED TO ENCRYPT MY DATA?
A lot of your data is already being encrypted all the time or in certain circumstances. If you access a website that starts with HTTPS://www.xxxxx the data between you and it is encrypted, so people can't see what you type, like when you pay online. If you have a modern iPhone they are often encrypted by default, rather than a user choice, like in say a Samsung or other type of device.
Apple and many Windows computers can have their hard drives encrypted, why? so that if a computer is stolen, they can't just hook up the hard drive to another computer and read your data, they need the decryption codes. Great, what are they? That is one issue, you need to know what they are and store them in a safe and secure place and format. So, data recovery can be hampered by encryption so you have to plan and prepare if you encrypt. But the easiest way to fix that issue is to back-up your data to another location.
But is that encrypted? and so it goes, on and on, data, location, encryption, keys, who knows them, are they save, what happens if things go phut.