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5 Options to encrypt your hard drive

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Numerous prominent events in early 2018 and 2017 have made it very clear that all businesses and government organizations are liable and responsible for the protection of all personal information collected from clients and customers without any exceptions. The new regulations, for instance, the GDPR, which took effect from 25th May 2018, will support those prospects of data protection with considerable fines and penalties for the noncompliance.

The companies should demonstrate creativity by introducing quantifiable security procedures that safeguard any collected personal information. One of the most familiar methods for securing stored information is by encryption.

The applications needed to encrypt hard drives and files are readily available and are often offered at a low cost or for free. Consequently, introducing an encryption procedure for your business does not have to demand a considerable outlay of capital. The five encryption options listed below are all free to use and accomplish their function utilizing the highest standards of encryption algorithms available in the industry.

Some of the software in this list encrypts the operating system, the entire hard drive and everything else. That means you’ll have to know the passwords or have the password file on a USB drive to help you access the system. The other applications will enable you to encrypt a single folder or file if that’s what you prefer. As you evaluate every application, it is essential to consider the operational difference.

BitLocker

Since the BitLocker encryption application is directly integrated into Microsoft Window 10, it’s probably one of the most flexible software on this list. The BitLocker app is located in the Control Panel, although the best method to access the management screen is by simply typing BitLocker in the Cortana search Box.

This application is designed to work well with a device or a computer deployed with a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) version 1.2 or newer version. The TPM refers to a hardware element that works together with BitLocker to protect user information and to ensure a computer is not tampered with while the system is offline. BitLocker encrypts the whole hard drive and not single folders or files. The app is restricted for use in Windows operating systems.

FileVault2

Just like BitLocker, File Vault2 is a tool that encrypts the entire disk drive; however, it’s limited to use on all OS X Lion or newer versions. The application prevents any unauthorized access to data on OS X devices utilizing XTS-AES 128-bit algorithm and a 256-bit key.

To activate FileVault, navigate the System Preferences screen and then click the Privacy & Security link. You will enter the administrator’s password and name to finish the process. When the encryption completes, FileVault will need you to log in each time the Mac starts up, meaning no account will be allowed to log in automatically.

VeraCrypt

VeraCrypt refers to open source software based on the currently abandoned TrueCrypt 7.1. Just like FileVault and BitLocker, VeraCrypt is created as a partition or full-drive encryption tool, so it does not encrypt individual folders and files.

The application generates a virtual encrypted drive within a file and later mounted the file as USB drive or available disk drive. This kind of encryption is automatic, and it’s done on the fly to enable it to act like a typical storage device.

AxCrypt

Unlike the above-aforementioned applications, AxCrypt is developed for use in the encryption of individual folders and files. AxCrypt directly integrates into the file explorer systems of either OS X or Windows, making the process of encryption very simple. You can also download and install this application on a mobile gadget.

In addition to integrating directly with the file explorer applications in OS X and Windows, AxCrypt also integrates with some cloud-based storage applications such as Google Drive and DropBox, making it an adaptable encryption software.

AESCrypt

AESCrypt is designed to work as an encryption instrument for individual folders and files. The application directly integrates into to the file explorer systems of Linux and OS X. AESCrypt can support software developers using programming languages such as C# and Java as well.

This application uses the AES algorithm as well as the 256-bit and 128-bit keys. AESCrypt documentation clearly outlines that the application can be utilized for business purposes and personal ones as well.