Do You Use Encryption?

The launch of Mega is putting a big emphasis on encryption, but it's not like that kind of security is anything new. It's just a pain sometimes. Do you ever go out of your way to encrypt your files? Do you think it's worth the effort? The risk of losing that password and being screwed? Do you have any urge to start?

Image: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock


    I have no idea how to encrypt, pretty sure most people barely even know what it means.

    1. No
    2. Probably
    3. No
    4. No

      1. Yes
      2. Yes
      3. Extremely Unlikely
      4. Rendered moot by previous answers

    Most commonly used forms of encryption have equally as common cracks these days. And yeah those episodes of family guy on my HDD are highly sensitive and worth the loss of HDD performance.

    seriously? can you name one serious vulnerability of AES? That's what most encryption programs use. The encryption is only vulenrable when you use a simple or dictionary type password, so that's user error, nothing to do with encryption algorithms. if you carry around a laptop with sensitive information that could be detrimental if it was lost or stolen, encryption is a must.

      @azeotrope - Absolutely.
      The weakness of virtually every domestically available encryption is securing the passphrase / key / password set.
      Try visiting www dot MANIFESTO dor NET dot AU

      Even if your business partner / wife / commander-in-chief is held hostage by Al-Quaeda - neither of you can spill the beans.... and you can leave the encrypted content in plain view, distribute, duplicate, rename or do whatever you want - the files are still secure and valid. (Patent in process!).

      And I guarantee - unconditionally - that you can't recover any meaningful contiguous data from a single MANIFESTO fragment.

        A freaking design website? What, are you spamming comments to increase your hits so you can impress someone?

        Also, your "mission statement" means absolutely nothing, it's just marketing speak.

    I just started using TrueCrypt for my personal files. I login, it asks for the password (auto-mount) and that's it. I also have dismount and purge hotkeys. Have a look through your files, is there anything incriminating? Perhaps some stuff your partner or an ex-lover might not want plastered on the internet? Something embarrassing? If so, perhaps encryption or deletion is something you might consider.

    Sometimes. My personal computers HDD is encrypted, not for any special reason but I wasn't too worried about the performance hit there.

    My work laptop probably should be, however I run VM's off it which already causes enough disk IO strain, so for that reason alone I don't. Any extra overhead is largely unwanted by me. Maybe if I could hit work up for some SSDs or some esata externals to move my VM's to I'd consider it.

    I encrypt files that I believe to be sensitive at home and work. What use though when companies loose your personal details, aka Sony PlayStation?

    I could never imagine caring enough about any of it to want to encrypt it. The banks will reimburse you if you get ripped off, as long as you have not done anything actively stupid, so we're not the ones taking the risk anyway.

    The bigger risk IMO is someone using "social engineering" to get your info - curious email etc., or someone calling some lax helpdesk that gives away/resets passwords easy. Much simpler than trying to steal someones files.

    I keep my USB flash drive in a state such that if anyone were to pick it up and plug it in, there would be absolutely nothing on there (that they could access) that could be used for identity theft or blackmail. That way I can carry around my tax info, naked pics of girlfriend etc. without worrying about it.

    I just have a truecrypt file container on there. I don't know why everyone's focussing on whole disk encryption; the total size of all the files you really need to encrypt isn't usually that great. But hell, if you really do have a lot of sensitive docs, just encrypt an entire flash drive or external HD so you don't have to worry about native HD performance.

    I started doing this after going to a net cafe one day and finding someone had scanned a copy of their passport and letter from the ATO stating their tax file number and just left it in My Documents; I couldn't believe it! I used a portable program to delete and overwrite the file, but it was a wakeup call.

    And sure, you may not care about your credit card, as the banks will wipe any fraudulent debt, but what if someone takes out loans in your name? Buys a car to use in a ram raid? What if they ruin your credit? Proving who you are and having people accept it is more difficult than you think.

    Last edited 21/01/13 10:50 am

      And further to that, I don't keep the only copy of that truecrypt container on the flash drive; I also back it up to separate partitions on each of my two laptops.

      I would keep a copy of it on dropbox as well, but the tricky thing is that truecrypt files won't sync correctly with dropbox (or any cloud service). If you set truecrypt to not alter the date stamp of the file when mounting, then it will never sync and you'll end up with an old file. If you do set it to update, then dropbox will re-upload and re-download the entire file every time you mount it regardless of whether you actually make any changes to it or not, which is fine in itself, but gets pretty tedious (and wasteful of bandwidth) if it's more than a couple of gigs in size.

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