What’s the deal with security and what the heck is encryption?

It seems with every passing month we hear more and more about information leaks from major corporations or some sort of backdoor into the apps we use everyday. Even Apple, long thought to be ‘above’ all that security problem nonsense has recently found an issue causing them to back pedal around holes found in their FileVault system. What do we really have to worry about at home? Are these problems on the rise or is it just something to expect?

Well, a little of both it would seem. In Symantec’s 2011 Threat Landscape Report we are told that malicious attacks jumped 81% in 2011 over 2010 (or more precisely that Symantec caught 81% of the attacks). The report claims that malware-variants, slightly modified malware that bypasses past fixes, also increased in 2011 by 41%. The report goes on to detail some pretty scary numbers pointing to a definite rise in malicious online attacks (but hey, SPAM has precipitously dropped, so, really, we came out on top right? … right?).

Photo courtesy of anroidpit.com

Symantec’s report tends to focus on malicious attacks against user-systems. These are definite issues as the numbers show, but it doesn’t really reflect the problems presented in the opening of this post. These issues arise from mistakes made in code, holes left open that could allow someone to access information we need kept private. This is where encryption steps in.

Let’s flashback to the Apple FileVault issue we mentioned earlier. Essentially, the problem here was that the FileVault security hole showed user passwords in plain text on an unencrypted portion of the computer. If you know where to look, you know the user’s passwords. The biggest blunder here is that FileVault’s main purpose is to encrypt the files on a Macintosh computer!

Encryption is the translation of data into a jumbled code. If you want to read encrypted data then you’ll need the password that decrypts the data. This non-readable encrypted plain text is referred to as cypher text. The problem with FileVault points to the need for additional securities. All encryption, in theory, can be broken. That said, as the web continues to become a part of all of our communication and that communication remains open the necessity for encrypting data and messages will become more popular.

Laplink happens to offer one of the more powerful and user-friendly data encryption programs available. PC Lock uses military-grade 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard [AES] encryption to ensure that your sensitive data remains private. You can gain instant protection to your files and you can even prevent unauthorized access to your PC if it is stolen. You can also use Laplink’s SafeErase to fully delete old files from your disk to further reduce the chance of compromised data.

Did we forget to mention that with Laplink turning 29 this month and that we are giving out daily deals? Keep your eyes peeled to our Laplink Turns 29 pageand make sure to grab PC Lock and SafeErase while these discounts stick around!

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