Pc Data Security

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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When it comes to your PC, hackers are far from your only concern. You might also have the need to secure data for file transfers, CD-ROMs, or an ftp hub. If you work somewhere where sensitive files are frequently transmitted across the company network, you probably already use some varieties of PC data security. If not, here is an overview of some of the most popular methods for securing data.

Hard disc encryption can physically protect your data from unauthorized parties. This holds true even if your computer has been stolen or the PC itself is physically accessed. This method encrypts your hard disc by converting all the information in every file to long strings of gibberish. The files can be decrypted with a unique digital file, known as a "key." The data that makes up the key is stored on a small, removable USB memory stick, which becomes an actual key to the drive. By inserting the USB memory stick into the PC, the digital key can decrypt the hard drive. As long as an unauthorized user doesn't have your key, they won't be able to understand anything on your computer.

PC Data Security And Encryption

If you're planning on transferring sensitive files, either to a disc, or an email account, and want to make sure that only authorized parties can view them, compression might be a simple solution. Most file compression programs include a "password protected" feature. A password protected compressed file will require a specific password, otherwise it can't be uncompressed and viewed. By providing your intended recipient with the password, you can prevent unauthorized parties from viewing the material. This is especially useful in a business network, where only specific individuals are authorized to access certain files.

Digital certificates are small electronic files, similar to the digital keys used in hard disc encryption. However, instead of being stored in a removable memory stick, they are installed in your browser. Digital certificates create two digital keys, one that is used to encrypt data, and the other to decode it. Every pair of keys is unique, and data from one key can only be decrypted with its matching key. For example, if you're authorized to view files encrypted by a certain certificate, the corresponding key will be downloaded to your browser. This will allow your browser to view data that would otherwise appear as strings of random gibberish.


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