Last updateTue, 15 Jul 2014 3pm

Data protection: good news, bad news

At one time or another everyone has heard a tale that begins with “There’s good news, and there’s bad news …”  Somehow that seems an appropriate framework for this week’s column.

The good news is that in recent decades computer software writers and cryptologists have created absolutely impregnable encryption software.  Used properly, it simply cannot be broken and so it is now possible to secure your personal information in a way that nobody, not even the National Security Agency can snoop it.

The bad news is that if you forget your password nobody, not even the NSA will ever be able to decrypt it.  If proper procedures are followed, modern encryption software is impossible to decrypt without the keys.

Good news is that recent revelations concerning governmental snooping into phone records, email and other personal data have led to an increased public awareness for the need to protect private data.  More people than ever are now using encryption software and are learning how to do so correctly.

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