Simply put, Encryption is turning one piece of information into an altered form, at times with the intent of making the content hidden from others. Whether it is bank records, medical records or even text messaging a family member, encryption is present and important, it penetrates our lives every day.

One of the main purposes of encryption is information security. For example a song can be downloaded from the world wide web. It is encoded in a standardized method, for example, MP3. Because the encoding method is understood, and in common use, many different devices can decode the music in that format, and you can listen to it. If however you made a will, or some other business document and stored it online, or on your computer, you would probably want to encrypt it.

The difference between encoding and encrypting information is that commonly when encoding the purpose is to maintain and transfer the information. Encryption is the process whereby we encode information in such a way that only those who know the key, or the encryption method itself, can access the information. Information in any format can be encrypted, letters, pictures, books, video, audio and a host of other types.

Examples of movies and novels abound about the hero finding or recovering the secret encryption key to take over the world or launch the nukes. In a slightly more realistic example, your bank encrypts your account information to help protect you from theft, your attorneys and physicians likewise should be encrypting information about you to maintain and protect your privacy.

All too often we think of encryption as a way to hide monumental secrets. In today’s world, it is a common tool to protect your privacy. Like anything else that is personal and valuable your privacy is worth protecting. Using encryption can be as complex or as simple as you choose. There is a wide range of free, and open source programs to make encryption simple and painless.
VeraCrypt, and AxCrypt are good examples of windows based encryption open source software programs. Various incarnations of GNU Privacy Guard are flexible, secure and can be used across platforms. These programs and many others offer the common PC and Apple user a simple and straightforward method for securing their privacy. It should be noted that there are many highly rated encryption software suites available at a low cost.

In the world we live in, the average person should be encrypting their sensitive information at the very least. When it comes to law enforcement, security and those in the legal sector, encryption of sensitive data is a must, and failure to take common precautions can lead to some very negative consequences. Encrypting files and folders of information can take only a few moments. The irritation of having to enter passwords occasionally is certainly outweighed by the legal liability that may come to bear if we don’t take simple precautions.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Schwenk

Robert Schwenk began a law enforcement career by joining the U.S.Army's Military police corps in 1982.Over the course of his career, Schwenk graduated from four separate police academies, two investigative courses and numerous certificate and training programs.Schwenk served as an armed officer, with arrest powers with five separate law enforcement agencies. In 2009 Schwenk retired from federal service due to a medical disability.Schwenk currently has interests writing, consulting, investigating and internet services and security.
Robert Schwenk

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