Currently, the majority of the masses use a computer to work daily. Hence, data has become a very crucial aspect in every field. Hence, every user must ensure that their data stays safe and secure. Back when technology was not as developed, people could ensure their data’s security by using a simple password. However, things have significantly changed now. Numerous kinds of threats lurking around can steal, corrupt, or hamper data in multiple ways. For instance, there are notorious cybercriminals who are always on the lookout for stealing users’ data and using it in notorious ways. Moreover, different kinds of viruses and malware can harm data. Thankfully, there are effective methods using which users can secure both online and offline files from internal and external threats.
Two of the most effective ways users can secure files and folders include disk and file encryption. Both methods facilitate users to secure files and folders and protect them from cyber breaches, attacks, etc. This article will cover what disk and file encryption are, the applications using which users can perform disk and file encryption, and which is better. Let us begin:
What is Disk Encryption?
According to Wikipedia, disk encryption refers to the process of protecting information by turning it into unreadable code. Individuals with a unique decipher key can only decipher the code. FDE or Full Disk Encryption uses a particular cipher to encode data. Hence, any individual cannot access encrypted data, even if they manage to steal the device physically. Hence, no other individual can access the data besides the file owner. It is a great method of enhancing data security, using which users can protect their local disk drives from all sorts of mishaps.
Disk Encryption Applications:
Both major platforms, namely Windows and macOS, offer in-built disk encryption applications using which users can conveniently encrypt their local disk drives. Here are two of the most popular ones:
FileVault – For those who are wondering what is FileVault Mac, it is macOS’ native data encryption tool. It facilitates users to protect their startup disk’s data by encrypting it. The powerful disk encryption application features full-disk XTS-AES-128 encryption capabilities and a 256-bit key. Since it is macOS’s native application, it is very easy to set up. All you need to do is open the System Preferences application of macOS, open the “Security and Privacy” section, and enable FileVault by clicking on the “Turn on FileVault” option.
BitLocker – Windows’ native disk encryption tool is called BitLocker. It protects local disk drives from every sort of threat, such as information theft, security breaches, malware attacks, etc. The native Windows functionality follows the AES algorithm in CBC mode. To access the app, all you need to do is search for it in the start menu’s taskbar and click on it when it appears.
What is File Encryption?
File encryption or File-Based Encryption (FBE) refers to encrypting specific files in different t directories. FBE is used only for encrypting specific files compared to FDE, which encrypts the entire disk. This method of securing data comes in handy if the user wishes to enhance the safety and security of specific files before sharing them with others. It is a great method for users to conceal information about the file’s metadata and other similar aspects. Moreover, since the encryption key is unique, no two users can open the file. This feature significantly benefits multi-user systems.
File Encryption Applications:
VeraCrypt – If you are a macOS user looking for a top-notch file encryption application that guarantees robust security, you can seriously consider going for VeraCrypt. It is a potent file encryption tool that facilitates users to encrypt files in a customized manner, i.eUsers can choose to encrypt the entire file or just a single portion of it. Moreover, it allows users to add details about data such as its volume, location where it is stored, size, etc. It is a great tool to keep your files safe from all sorts of external and internal threats.
AxCrypt – A simple and easy-to-use file encryption software that works exceptionally well on Windows is AxCrypt. The app features a minimalistic UI with one window featuring only two columns. The app allows you to enter any password of your choice while encrypting the file. Moreover, the app employs the industry-standard AES encryption method, and thus, the app offers top-notch reliability.
Which Type Of Encryption Should You Choose?
Depending on your requirements, you should choose between full disk and file encryption. For instance, if you wish to protect an entire drive from vulnerabilities and threats, it would be best to opt for full-disk encryption. On the other hand, if you wish to secure a single file and protect it from threats, the best option would be to choose file-based encryption.