Encrypt your data

Keeping your stuff under lock and key. The image is CC by aussiegall
Keeping your stuff under lock and key. The image is CC by aussiegall.

We often have sensitive information that we want don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. When doing research this is extra important and while everyone talks about having a robust security few tell you how you should do this. I’ve therefore collected some useful tips on basic encryption and security.

Password security

First make sure you’re passwords are secure, if they’re not then no encryption will help you. You can find some sound advice on Internet for Beginners. In case your imagination runs dry you can create a password online. You should of course also always have an up-to-date firewall and anti-virus protection. If someone installs a keylogger trojan  they’ll have your awesome password as soon as you use it.

KeePass

KeePass is an excellent tool for storing passwords. It is often wise to have different password for different sites. As some sites store the password in plain language you can’t trust sites out there with your awesome universal password. KeePass remembers all your passwords, and can also create secure random passwords, i.e. solving solving this issue. There are awesome plugins that make the use with Firefox, Chrome & IE virtually pain-free.

TrueCrypt

This is by far the best software I’ve encountered for encryption. It is free (open source) and you can find it at truecrypt.org. When working with TrueCrypt it’s like working from a USB-stick. The ease of using is really impressive.

There is a good beginners tutorial here, and if your eyes are tired you can also have a look at this YouTube video.

Sophos Free Encryption

When sending data to a colleague or an institution I recommend Sophos free encryption tool that you can find here. The nice thing is that you can make it into an executable so the recipient doesn’t have to install any software.

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