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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Geeks Korner / Advice about encryption please
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Advice about encryption please

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spiderman
May-21-2017 @ 7:35 PM                           Permalink
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Hi
I've been asked to enable the encryption ability on my laptop for confidential reports I need to then send to a legal firm. My question is will a recipient need anything special to unencrypted them? I ask because I'll use the same laptop for other stuff I might need to email. I wasn't sure if encrypting meant my work is safe if my laptop is nicked or if stuff arrives encrypted and needs unencrypting their end. I'm using Windows 10 pro.
Thanks.

FishersHaven
May-22-2017 @ 7:38 AM                           Permalink
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I assume you are looking for a simple solution
for minimal protection you can use the builtin password facility of MS Office or Open Office documents

to email a file I would use 7-ZIP to compress and encrypt  the file using AES-256 - see
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2954590/storage/how-to-encrypt-and-password-protect-zip-files-the-right-way.html

you email the file and text or phone  the password

to encrypt drives with Win 10 PRO you can use bitlocker
http://lifehacker.com/five-best-file-encryption-tools-5677725

In practice I tend to encrypt critical folders using VeraCrypt again http://lifehacker.com/five-best-file-encryption-tools-5677725

I  avoid encrypting whole drives - on one occasion I had a drive corruption and could recover nothing (I had backups!) and had to reinstall the operating system


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This message was edited by FishersHaven on May-22-17 @ 8:41 AM

kfurbank
May-22-2017 @ 8:28 AM                           Permalink
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SpiderMan, Your question probably needs a bit more qualification. You say you have been asked to enable "the" encryption facility on your laptop, which would tend to suggest the one built into certain flavours of Windows, which is BitLocker. This encrypts the whole disk and protects it if your laptop is stolen, however when you copy any files of the laptop or send them via email, at that point those files are NOT encrypted. Using BitLocker on a mid to low end specification PC can have severe performance implications.

You then go on to say that you will be sending reports to a legal firm and ask how they would read them. BitLocker only protects your data whilst it is on your laptop, so this would tend to signify that you need a different utility. Whichever one you go for, it needs to be the same one as the legal firm are using, and you need to agree a way to provide them with the password, or encryption key.

I would speak to your legal firm and ask their advice if you need to send them encrypted files. If you just need to protect the data whilst it is on your laptop, then BitLocker is probably what they mean.

Just because The BA make a request, don't automatically assume they have the powers to make such requests!! Keeping a careful eye on an Authority which is making it's own rules.

spiderman
May-25-2017 @ 9:33 PM                           Permalink
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Hi folks,
Thanks for your help. I'm going to be download a specific template for my reports so only need protection for my laptop. Bitlocker is favourite it seems.
Regards Spiderman.


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