Mar 01
2014

How to encrypt your files and raise the bar to protect your data? – Part I

Government-EyesOK, with all the Big Brother government stuff that has been going on for years and been hitting the fan with the media (especially with the Snowden disclosures), – a lot of people are wondering how they can protect their data (or at least they should be wondering how to protect their data).

Bruce Schneier (the industry expert in cryptography) states… cryptography works… the NSA can only attack it by cheating.   Watch the video in the link above to see what I mean.  

pillBy the way… welcome to my Surreal Paradigm – a vision that has been created by those seeking power over us.  Decide what pill to take Neo… continuing to read and continuing to educate yourself “is a symbol – of your desire to return to reality.”

Thanks to returning to reality.

So… with three words to protect yourself better, “encrypt your data”.

Encrypting your data will make it harder for someone to access/read it, or change it without your knowledge.  This only works if you keep your password safe, use good password standards (in other words use pass-phrases), and you don’t forget your password.

However, before we venture into encryption we really need to think of what we need to encrypt.

Think about your data and in general and you will find that there’s some things that matter to you such as personal identifiable information (PII) like financial statements – your budget, social security numbers, software license keys, etc.  Then there are other things that don’t matter to you such as text help files, installer files for programs, etc.

Create two basic categories, things that are important to you and another category things that are not important.

In other words think about things that are important to you.  These are the things that can possibly be used against us by an attacker and are the things we really need to encrypt.

Since I run all different types of operating systems I like tools that work across them all meaning: Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX.  This means if you create an encrypted file in any one of these operating systems, you should be able to open them up in another operating system.  This is good in case you decide to stop using Windows and move to another platform like Mac OS X or Linux.  It also works out well if you utilize multiple operating systems at work, home, and play.

With that said one Personal Security Product (PSP) comes to mind that will encrypt your data while pissing off the NSA, and that’s a good thing.  That program is TrueCrypt (dun dun dun). Because if you can piss off the NSA, you know you’re doing something right in terms of security.  🙂

By the way… Bruce Schneier also trusts TrueCrypt – a program I will show you how to use in a Part I and Part II series.  This is part 1 of the 2 part series and a good place to start.

So how do I encrypt my files?  Part I  

Well for this tutorial we are going to focus on Windows because that is the most popular OS in the world and I feel Windows people may need more help in terms of security because of that. So, I’ll focus on Windows 8.1.

The best thing is TrueCrypt is free…. however I urge those that use TrueCrypt religiously to support and donate to the project just as I have done to software products I use religiously.

There’s a shared governance in them providing this software for no charge, but there is also a shared governance is us supporting the projects that protect us – as it helps to keep the publishers updating the product.

Things you’ll need:

  • Internet Connection
  • Computer with Windows 8 on it
  • Administrative access to the computer

1) Go to “http://www.truecrypt.org/”

2) Click on “Downloads” page link.

Truecrypt Download3.  Find “Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000” and click on the “Download” button.Truecrypt Win Download4.  Download and save the file to your desktop so you may find it:Truecrypt save as

Truecrypt save desktop5.  Click on “Run“: Truecrypt run

6.  When the User Account Control (UAC) pops-up click “Yes“:UAC Yes7.  Click on “I accept the license terms” and click on “Next>“:  truecrypt setup

8.  Click on “Install” and click on “Next>“: truecrypt setup extract9.  Click on “Install“:

truecrypt install10.  Click on “OK” to acknowledge that TrueCrypt was installed:

TrueCrypt OK

11.  Click on “Finish”:

finish

 

12.  I would recommend you read the tutorial and click yes to learn more, but if you want to continue to part II of my tutorials I’ll also show you some of the same stuff:

Yes or No Tutorial

13.  You should now be able to right click on the “TrueCrypt Setup 7.1a” icon and click on “Delete” option since you already installed TrueCrypt you can remove this file and empty your recycle bin. Make sure you select the proper icon as it should have a shield on it.’delete installer

14.  When you’re done you should have only the “TrueCrypt” icon on your desktop:Truecrypt Icon

OK, now that TrueCrypt is installed, please stay tuned for my follow-up article on how to use TrueCrypt aka “How to encrypt your files and raise the bar to protect your data? – Part II”.

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