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Encryption: A Reason for Concern

The most prevalent uses for encryption are privacy and security. However, is it is also perceived by many that hiding your data is devious and that you are either have something to hide or you are not being truthful. I assume that this somehow stems from the old adage “I’ve got nothing to hide.” But is hiding data a bad thing?

I have come to the conclusion nobody needs to see my personal data. What would you do if someone got a hold of you bank account information? Your credit card number? Losing control of this data could be nerve racking let alone financially devastating. What about family photos, MP3’s, podcasts, all the mondaine data people keep on their computers? Should these be protected as well?

Generally I believe people would say no. But let me give you a for instance, far fetched as it may seem. I'm not trying to scare anyone but let’s just evaluate this example.

You are an entry level clerk for So and So Co, you routinely send files from work to home, and vice versa. Your company infrastructure is hacked. The gleeful attacker notices log entries showing files coming and going from your terminal to a remote system. Curious… the attacker sets his sights on your computer. Before you are aware of the attack at work, your home computer is compromised. The attacker now has access to all your personal data.

Let’s analyze this. Your computers at work and at home are both compromised. What does this mean? Well, the short of the long is the attacker now has your information and a general location of your personal computer (at your House).

Did your home or work computer have your personal banking information on them? You can consider all that information out there.
Family photos on your home computer? They now know what your kids and dog look like.

The reasons people use (or don’t use) encryption obviously varies from person to person and depends on the circumstances. Daily use of encryption is very easy and for the most part seamless. Descriptions and discussions on the encryption I recommend and personally use daily are on the following pages.

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