When we first started to use computers security was one of the last things that we would worry about.
When a person would buy a computer for the home there would be some personal stuff on there but for the most part it would be nothing that could hurt them.
Now that is not the case anymore.
Computers are tools that we use to keep a lot of the secrets that we hold.
It is where we keep our bank account information and our job resume.
And then you add to the fact that we also now have the internet and the security protection that it entails and you can see why security of the data on your computer can be such a headache.
We need a way to be sure that if anyone is able to get on our system that they will not be able to access anything that we do not want them to.
If our laptop gets stolen while we are traveling cross country, we do not want the bad guy to be able to get anything that might be personal.
There is a way that you can do that and it is called encryption and there is a great tool out there that helps you encrypt the data on your computer that is called Truecrypt.
What Is Encryption?
Encryption is the ability to take a piece of data that is on the computer and mix it up so that it is not readable.
The only way someone is able to read this data is if they had a special code that encrypted the data in the first place.
If you use the internet you deal with encryption all of the time.
When you are on the web site of your bank, or when you log into paypal, these are all encrypted logins.
If you have GMail then you login into there by encryption as well.
Encryption is all around us on the internet and for good reason.
You do not want your data going out over a clear text file connection because someone will be able to easily access that data if they are on the same network.
So now let’s talk about the tool that will help us keep the data on our computer encrypted.
What Is Truecrypt?
If you ever had something on your computer that you did not want anyone else to be able to see then Truecrypt is the right tool for the job.
It will allow you to create a virtual partition on your computer that will be closed off to anyone else in the world but you.
It does not matter if anyone else has access to your computer; they still will not be able to access any of the files that are in that virtual partition.
When you have a file encrypted there is usually a special algorithm that is used to perform the deed.
When it comes to Truecrypt, the algorithms that it supports are Serpent, AES, and Twofish.
These are some of the more popular algorithms in the cryptography community and ones that are known to be very effective.
There are several set ups that you can use for Truecrypt.
You can just have an encrypted partition or folder or you can partition your entire boot drive.
In this mode it almost performs as an alternative to the Microsoft encryption tool Bitlocker.
Most people will not run their operating system in such a manner because there is a small hit in the efficiency of the operating system.
It will run slower if the whole thing is encrypted.
The more powerful the machine you have the less you will notice this though.
Are There Any Weaknesses In TrueCrypt?
While Truecrypt is a great tool to use, there are some weaknesses known in it as well.
For example, the cold boot method, which is when you turn the power off of a computer but you are still able to get data off of the ram before it erases, is known to work on Truecrypt.
Also, if a hacker is able to get access to the physical computer and change some of the hardware on it, this will also cause the effectiveness of Truecrypt to be challenged.
Both of these are very challenging scenarios however and most bad guys will not be able to perform such an attack – they would have to change the hardware in a very specific way.
While the software does have some weaknesses, overall it is one of the best consumer encryption software tools around.
And best of all it is free.
When you want to be sure that the data on your computer is safe from invading eyes then there is hardly any software out there that will be able to compete with Truecrypt.
With this tool the bad guys might be able to get access to your computer but they still will not get access to your data.