Compare Best Secure Encryption Software to Buy
Data encryption uses a complex cipher to protect your files. Discover how encryption works and some of the best encryption software available.
Digital purchases are at an all time high. The majority of businesses feature an online store for customers. More workplaces are also placing an emphasis on remote work, which relies on digitally transferring and storing information on a computer. With so much activity happening digitally, it is important to have the right file security. A common way to protect your files is with encryption software. Encryption software keeps your data safe, preventing hackers from stealing your information.
There are several different types of encryption software to choose from. Some encryption focuses on specific areas. For example, password managers allow you to automatically store your login information. This allows you to create complex passwords which are hard to crack, without having to memorize a complicated string of numbers and letters. Other encryption software protects your data when it is stored on the cloud. Listed below is everything you need to know about encryption software, including some of the most popular programs for 2022.
What is Data Encryption
Data encryption is a security method to keep your data private. It is commonly used to protect sensitive information, including passwords, credit card information and work documents. You can also use encryption to protect your personal files. When your data is encrypted, it is turned into ciphertext.
At a glance, ciphertext looks like a jumble of letters and numbers. This way, if the data is pulled from your computer, it is impossible to translate without encryption software. Your encryption software acts as a translator, taking the gibberish ciphertext and converting it back into a legible format. Your computer can then read the file as normal and display the information. Encryption software does not use the same algorithm. Each file receives a unique cipher. This means even if the encrypted file is stolen, nobody is able to break the encryption and steal the information.
Types of Data Encryption Algorithms
There are several variants of data encryption. Certain types of encryption offers more protection, but it takes longer for the software to decrypt. In most cases it is personal preference which type of encryption to use, but there are some situations where one type of encryption is better than other options.
Most software uses an RSA cipher. Most websites and data transfer services use RSA because it is secure without sacrificing speed. A more advanced cipher is FPE. FPE not only creates a cipher to hide your data, but it also rearranges the structure of your data to provide a second level of protection. This means even if a hacker was able to decrypt your data, the decrypted data would still be illegible. This level of protection is commonly used in financial databases. For example, businesses use FPE to scramble credit card numbers. If the data is decrypted, the numbers are not in the correct order, so there is no way to replicate a customer’s credit card information.
Another type of encryption is Twofish. Twofish is used to encrypt smaller files, such as word documents. Because it is designed for smaller files, it can provide complex encryption. However, the small size also makes decrypting the files much quicker. Many cloud-based programs use a form of Twofish encryption and it is popular among businesses where information is consistently shared back and forth remotely.
Benefits of Data Encryption
While the primary benefit of data encryption is keeping information private, it is not the only benefit. From a business standpoint, data encryption is the most cost-effective method to preserve privacy. There are other methods to privately move data, but they are more complex, which increases the cost as well as time to receive the files. Encrypted files can be sent over the internet in a matter of seconds, making it the most efficient option. In some professions, there are strict regulations stating you must keep your data encrypted, otherwise, you are fined and may face legal repercussions.
Encryption is also an excellent way to build consumer trust. Customers and clients are more likely to work with a business that uses data encryption because they know their personal information is protected. Not only does it show your business cares about their needs, but it makes your business look more professional.
Microsoft BitLocker is included for free in copies of business or server editions of both Windows 10 and 11. It includes a number of other admin tools and allows you to link multiple accounts and domains. It offers fewer perks compared to other data encryption products, but it is a good choice for smaller businesses with limited budgets.
VeraCrypt is an easy-to-use encryption tool. Most of the encryption process is automated, making it easy to quickly encrypt a large number of files without having to go through each individual file. When you are making a new file, you can use VeraCrypt to automatically encrypt the file once you are done. You can even set it to encrypt an entire hard drive or partition. It features an additional secondary password security system. You can choose which files are visible when you enter the secondary password. This allows you to share some files while still keeping important documents encrypted. Businesses often use this to transfer financial data to accounting departments, keeping credit card numbers and other sensitive numbers hidden, but sharing necessary expense documents.
VeraCrypt is open software, available in full for no cost. Users are encouraged to donate to support the software, but this is not required to download it.
AxCrypt is technically available for free, but the free account offers limited protection. It is also intended for personal computers and does not support multiple users. AxCrypt Premium is oriented for businesses, supporting multiple users and providing additional security and encryption options. With a premium account, you can automatically encrypt any files that are uploaded to the internet or stored on the cloud. A premium account only costs $5 each month, with options to upgrade to a business account for $12.
Nord is one of the biggest names in cyber security, so it is no surprise they offer a robust encryption software. NordLocker has varying degrees of encryption, allowing you to quickly encrypt smaller files while securing sensitive files through a more secure encryption cipher. It has a simple interface, allowing you to drag and drop whichever files you want encrypted directly into the program. It is also available for both Mac and Windows. Nord provides a limited free account, which allows you to encrypt up to 3 GB. A business plan is available for businesses, with 500 GB for $3.99 each month. Larger business can upgrade to a 2 TB plan for $9.99 a month.