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Protecting your system – encryption

In this video Dr Nick Patterson demonstrates how the simple tool VeraCrypt can be used to encrypt your key files.
So let’s begin with encryption. Why I wanted to look at this is because when we’re working on employment files and our daily work activities, we need to have some form of encryption so on the chance that we are hacked, the information that we’ve got which we want to keep private– if that is stolen– won’t be able to be read by the hackers because it’s encrypted, essentially. So this free tool here, so it’s called VeraCrypt. It’s basically an open-source utility used for on-the-fly encryption. So once we’re loaded up, we’ve got to create a volume first. We’ve got to create that file container. So let’s go to here, first option, ‘Create an encrypted file container’. We’ll go across– standard VeraCrypt volume.
Let’s select the file that we want to use. Let’s just go to ‘C’ drive. We’ll just call it ‘encrypted drive’. Save that in ‘C’ drive, and we’ll just go to next. Here you can basically choose the encryption options that you want to go with. The default options are pretty strong. But as you can see, there’s a wide array of different options there, all with each of their own benefits. So we’ll go across to next. And just for demonstration purposes, we’ll go to a five-megabyte file container. A default password you’d say there, pretty simple. This kind of interesting text here is basically helping you to being able to create a stronger encryption key. That’s done. This is going to format then.
What you end up with is that one file. So it’s got no associations, no extensions. Hopefully we’ll be able to see it here if it’s created. Yeah, there it is there. So that essentially becomes your drive with encryption attached to it. Now what you can do then– OK, I’ve got successfully created. What you can do then is you can keep that file in your ‘C’ drive. Let’s go back to this.
So that’s all finished. And we can exit out of this. So the next step we want to do– we want to start to be able to actually use it. So let’s select the file. It’s in ‘C’ drive > ‘encrypted drive’. And we’re just going to choose a drive here. So I’m just going to choose ‘M’ here. And we’ve just chosen the file. We’ll just click ‘Mount’. And we have to enter in our master password, which we created earlier. I’ll just show you that again, same one. Click ‘OK’. That will mount it for us if we just give it a moment.
That should be done. So if we go to here, there it is. As you can see, five-megabyte ‘M’ drive. Nothing in there at the moment because we just created it, but let’s store something in there. We’ll go to some of our financial documents. Let’s see, we’ve got some of those that we want to keep encrypted. So we’ll choose a couple of those. Go back to here. Go to our ‘M’ drive. And we’ll move them into there. So essentially now they’ve become part of our file container and now encrypted. So everything on this ‘M’ drive is going to be encrypted. We’ve still got our encrypted file container, five-megabyte in size. Those two financial documents are stored inside that file.
And so our files, even if our laptop is, say, stolen, those files are going to remain secure.

Encryption is the process of converting a file into a format where it can only be decrypted or accessed by a person who has the correct key.

Encryption doesn’t stop your files from being hacked or stolen, but if they fall into the hands of the wrong person, the information won’t be accessible.

In this video, Dr Nick Patterson demonstrates how the simple tool VeraCrypt can be used to encrypt your key files.

Your task

Watch the video and think about what types of files you might want to encrypt. Is encryption the right solution for all your information? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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