(3.5 min read)
The transfer of data has reached an all-time high and along with it, so has the amount of compromised data. In order to decrease the likelihood of having data stolen, many are turning to data and document encryption.
What is Document Encryption?
In order to illustrate what document encryption is and its importance, we’ll use a quick story from history. During World War II, the need to convey information over the radio was crucial for both sides. Because radio transmissions could be heard by anyone with a receiver, enemies could eavesdrop on any plans discussed. In addition to many different code languages developed, American forces enlisted the help of Native American Navajo soldiers. Fluent in a language completely unknown to European and Japanese enemy forces, these Navajo soldiers could convey plans without fear of their plans being discovered and thwarted. To enemies, this Navajo language sounded like gibberish over the radio waves.
In much the same way, data encryption masks the specifics of the documents in use. Without the proper decryption software, compromised encrypted data is typically completely useless.
How To Encrypt Documents On Your Computer
Did you know that you can get started encrypting data right now? Most PC and Mac operating systems have data encryption features that come standard for users.
PC Encryption Process
It is possible to encrypt files or folders on your PC computer.
- Right-click and select “Properties”
- Located the “General” tab and click “Advanced”
- Click “Encrypt Content to Secure Data”
- Click “OK” and “Apply Changes To This Folder, Subfolders, and Files”
- Click “OK” once more
Mac OS Data Encryption Process
If you’re running a Mac operating system, encryption of folders and documents is possible.
- Click the magnifying glass icon on the top toolbar
- Type “Disk Utility” into the search bar and click it
- Click on the “File” selection on the top toolbar
- Select “New” and follow the side arrow out to click on “Disk Image from Folder…”
- Below “Save As” and “Where:”, and “Image Format”, you can select the “Encryption:” style you want
- Many select the “AES-128 Level”
- Press OK, which will prompt you to enter more information to allow for decryption of the information selected
Devices That Self-Encrypt Data
A simple way to establish an encryption protocol for sensitive company data is by using devices that self-encrypt the information they contain. Many data storage systems and hard drives now come with built-in encryption systems. Some USB flash drives have data encryption built in to reduce the likelihood of misuse of data on a flash drive that is lost.
Third-Party Encryption Software
In order to streamline the process of encrypting and decrypting shared data, there are many third-party encryption software programs available. These software systems are available for desktop, laptop, and mobile devices of most every model and operating system. Not every third-party encryption system is built alike, so make sure to do thorough research before deciding to use one.