Computers give us a remarkable amount of convenience. With one machine, we can send mail and pictures to friends, go shopping, pay bills, make appointments and confirm any number of different pieces of information in our lives. But all of this convenience can be horribly misused in the case of computer hacks and information exploits. With identity theft as a big worry these days, some home users are turning to data encryption as a way to protect important documents. Data encryption is a way to keep files and folders safe from unauthorized access and there are several free options out there for the home user. There are several tips that the average pc user can use to decide which program to choose when deciding on a data encryption option.
Ease of use – is the program or hardware simple to use? Most people don’t have a great deal of time to learn to use new software, or to spend hours installing and configuring new hardware.
Functionality – not all data encryption programs are created equally. Some will encrypt files and folders on your computer, while others will encrypt an entire data drive. Still others encrypt email and chat conversations for increased privacy and security. Look carefully to decide which of these options best fits your requirements.
Portability – if you have a lot of data on USB flash drives or portable hard drives, portable data encryption is an ideal solution to ensure that your data that travels remains secure.
Price – pricing for data encryption varies widely. Some options are free, while others may cost as much as a few hundred dollars to implement. Compare functionality and easy of use carefully before deciding to shell out big bucks for that shiny new encryption choice.
With the myriad of data encryption options currently available, even the private home user can take steps to protect vital information. Given all that we use our computers for, and all of the data we transmit day in and day out, data encryption for home users just makes sense.