Encrypt Your Data
Your data should always be encrypted. You may think you have no secrets and nothing to hide so why use encryption? Maybe you think that nobody wants your data. Most likely, this is probably not true.
Are you ready to show all of your photos and documents to strangers? Are you ready to share financial information stored on your computer to your friends? Do you want to give out your emails and account passwords to the general public?
This can be even more troublesome if a malicious application infects your computer or mobile device and steals potentially valuable information, such as account numbers and passwords, and other official documents. That kind of information can lead to identity theft, fraud, or ransom. Criminals may decide to simply encrypt your data and make it unusable until you pay the ransom.
What is encryption? Encryption is the process of converting the information into a form where an unauthorized party cannot read it. Only a trusted, authorized person with the secret key or password can decrypt the data and access it in its original form. The encryption itself does not prevent someone from intercepting the data. Encryption can only prevent an unauthorized person from viewing or accessing the content.
Software programs are used to encrypt files, folders, and even entire drives.
Encrypting File System (EFS) is a Windows feature that can encrypt data. EFS is directly linked to a specific user account. Only the user that encrypted the data will be able to access it after it has been encrypted using EFS. To encrypt data using EFS in all Windows versions, follow these steps:
Step 1. Select one or more files or folders.
Step 2. Right-click the selected data >Properties.
Step 3. Click Advanced…
Step 4. Select the Encrypt contents to secure data check box.
Step 5. Files and folders that have been encrypted with EFS are displayed in green, as shown in the figure.