The Best Encryption Software Of 2017 – Top Encryption Software Compared
What is Encryption Software and What Does It Do?
The first computer was invented by two gentlemen that attended the University of Pennsylvania. It took three years to construct and weighed around 50 tons upon completion. Today, almost everyone carries a smart phone in their pocket and has a computer in their home. The computer is a great resource as it allows to us to save important documents and family photos. It even allows us to communicate with distant friends and family. With as much time as we spend on the computer and the information we share with one another, we would want to ensure our information is protected, especially from criminals and spammers.
However, we cannot always sit and protect our home 24/7. We often have locks and alarm systems to protect us and our home when we are not there. Well, computers use a software known as Encryption Software. Encryption can be translated to a password. We use passwords on our smart devices and computers to prevent others from accessing our personal information. In a similar manner, Encryption Software prevents others from accessing our information by using cryptography, which is to solve codes. Another form of online encryption software can be referred to as a VPN. Virtual Private Networks offer encrypted tunnels point to point, often in different countries. However, not all VPN providers are the same. You’ll want to to do your research when comparing the best VPN providers for ultimate peace of mind when online.
How Does Encryption Software Work?
We understand the basics of setting up a password on our device. We enter our settings, we are asked to create a password and retype it. You generally have to choose three security questions, and voila your password is set up. No one will be able to access your device unless they have the password, it seems simple enough. An encryption software works differently, even though it shares the same end goal, to keep your identity and privacy protected. Instead of you typing a code you created, the software scrambles the content into an ineligible code. Encrypting as well as filtering all types of data has been proven to be the most effective way to maintain privacy and prevent malware.
When it comes to protecting your computer, there are two types of encryption: symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric encryption is in relation to keys. The sender and the recipient know the same keys in order to encrypt or decrypt the data. For example, it is like when small children talk in code. Only the children understand what they are saying among one another, but to outsiders, it does not make sense. Then there is asymmetric encryption which uses a public key to encrypt it but uses a private key to decrypt the data. Take, for example, individuals who speak Spanish. Depending on where they learned to speak the language, their dialect can be different from the person next to them. They can speak the language but they may have trouble depicting certain words.
Even if you have backed up your data, the main point of encryption software is to ensure your privacy and protect your data. Symmetric and Asymmetric are the most common types of encryption. However, there is also endpoint encryption which is often overlooked. Endpoint encryption is when backed up devices such as USBs and CDs are encrypted as well in an attempt to further protect the user’s privacy and data.
Who is Encryption Software for?
Society today cannot live without a sending an email, browsing social media, or indulging in online shopping. However, many of us get easily intimidated when we hear the term encryption. We often associate the term with those who work with technology or those who are technology enthusiasts. Setting that intimidation aside, we learn that encryption software is beneficial for anyone who uses a computer and takes their internet security seriously.
We are often mindful of what we post on our social media accounts and what we send to others. Many of us do not know where that “somewhere” is, but we do know that you cannot completely erase something once it has been posted. Concern rises for those who can access that data we tried to delete and their intended use. As much as we would like to believe the photos we post or the documents we share between one another are protected, they can still be intercepted by hackers and other cybercriminals. From small to large companies or for personal use, it is imperative to get encryption software to avoid data breaches and other targeted attacks.
Why Do I Need Encryption Software?
It has become second nature to use the best antivirus software on our Windows computer as well set passwords on our computers and smart devices. These passwords can be numerical, alphabetical, or both. Generally, the stronger your password is, the harder your device is to hack. So, you may find yourself asking, why do I need Encryption Software? A password protects a user’s device whereas an encryption software protects a user’s identity and device. When we are at home, we do not pay much mind to what we are doing on our computer or the photos we are uploading on our social media accounts. Partly out of pure ignorance, and also because we are on our personal Wi-Fi.
However, what about using our computers or laptops in public hot spots such as the library or the coffee shop around the corner. Our devices may be physically protected with the password we created, but what about the information we are sharing with one another? Or about the photos we are uploading? There are over one million cyber-attacks a year which equates to around 4,000 attacks a day. Experts recommend that the software should be enabled by default instead of turning it on when you are doing something worth protecting. Even though you cannot completely protect everything you share on your device, it is best to prepare for it as best as you can.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Encryption Software?
There are times when the benefits outweigh the obstacles. Before making a decision, it is important to look at the pros and cons of Encryption Software. A benefit of the software is separation. It allows the data being encrypted to remain separated from your computers pre-existing security or any additional security software’s you have installed. You may find yourself confused at that statement since the goal is to protect your data. However, to avoid interference, security is included within the software. Due to its preventative measures, encryption software ensures no data breaches. Whether it is business or a personal matter, encryption software ensures the protection and privacy of the data being transmitted. This is because the data itself is encrypted and only the recipient has the key to decrypt the data. However, if the document is being transmitted via email, there is a possibility of interference. This is a result of email accounts generally not carrying this level of security.
Encryption Software is a milestone for those in the technological field. However, where there are pros, there are cons as well. When data is encrypted, there is a key associated with that encryption. Without the key, the recipient will not be able to decrypt the data resulting in the data lost completely. The expense of the software should also be brought into consideration. Data encryption can be costly due to the maintenance of the software. If you fail to properly maintain the software, you risk your data being compromised. The unrealistic requirements for the encryption software should also be accounted for, such as having basic knowledge of the software. If you obtain the software but are unfamiliar with how it works and how to properly encrypt your data, you risk the privacy and protection of the data. Finally, there is also the compatibility of your device and other pre-existing security programs which can interfere with the encryption software.
What Are the Main Features to Look at for Encryption Software?
Before choosing an encryption software there are key features that user’s should be mindful of which include multiple ways to access the program. These short cuts could be an icon on the desktop or hotkeys. Hotkeys are simply a single key or combination of multiple keys to access the software. There are other features that users should be mindful of like if the software recognizes the file that is encrypted. If so, the user simply has to double click the file and they will be prompted to enter a password to decrypt it. If the software does not recognize the file that is encrypted, the user has to run the program before opening the file.
There are other key features that users and businesses should consider when choosing an encryption software. They should be mindful if the recipient will be able to decrypt the file without having the physical program. To protect our privacy, we create strong passwords. Thus, to ensure the privacy of our encrypted files, the software should be strong. Users should look for software’s that are 128-bit or higher.
However, the main features of Encryption Software will depend on what a user needs the software specifically for. A software’s main features for encrypting emails will be different in comparison to the main features for encrypting files. For user’s who are looking to encrypt emails, they should look for a software that allows the user to decide if an email should be encrypted or not. And if so, includes a feature to encrypt the email without having the user copy and paste the text into a ciphertext. If you frequently receive encrypted emails, it is beneficial to have a software that detects the encrypted message and prompts you for a password in order to decrypt it. Whereas users who are looking to encrypt files will be focusing on other main features. Users should look for a software that encrypts large files quickly and is compatible with the devices file system. Above all, it is imperative with any encryption software that a user chooses, that it functions with their PCs and devices.