After setting up a good password and installing an anti-virus product, encrypting your information adds an additional layer of security. While encrypting data provides additional security, it takes up more space and comes at a cost for Windows Home users. Hence it is important to assess the need for such a high level of security.

When do you need encryption:

1. Data recovered from your lost laptop may cause significant reputation and financial loss e.g. business secrets, private pictures
2. Avoid possibility of data theft when you give your laptop for servicing
3. Share critical information via e-mail and use public domain e-mails such as gmail, yahoo etc.

For data stored on your laptop, encryption can be performed at two levels – at hard disk level or at file level.

The two types of encryption:

Encrypting data at a hard disk level provides security from someone trying to recover your information from a lost or stolen PC as the entire hard disk is encrypted. The person trying to access your PC will not be able to do so until he de-crypts the hard disk.

Encrypting data at a folder level may allow a person to recover data from your PC except for the folders that are encrypted.

  • Windows provides hard disk level encryption through its bitlocker tool. However this feature is available only for Windows Professional users. Windows Home users and student users will have to upgrade to Windows professional to use this feature.
  • Below table lists some of the products that could be used to encrypt specific files on your laptop.
ProductFeaturesPricePlatforms
Supported
Website
CertainSafeCloud based
Automated security
100 GB storage
$12 per user/monthMacOS
Linux
Windows
iOS
Android
Click here
Folder LockCloud based
Potential brute-force
attack alerts
Free version
available
Premium
version : $ 39.9
Windows
Android
iOS
Click here
AxCryptCloud based
Multi-lingual
Free version
available
Premium
version: $36/yr
Windows
MacOS
Click here
VeraCryptImmune to brute force
attacks
Adds encrypted
passwords for data and
partitions
FreeWindows
macOS
Linux
Click here

 

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