Choosing the Best Encryption Software for Your Mac
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We are Clario. We believe in everyone's right to online privacy, security, and identity and do our best to help you stay protected.
We hope this article makes your digital world a little simpler, safer, and more accessible. Let's go together.
Today a huge proportion of our lives are lived online.
From Internet banking to instant messaging, watching YouTube content and liking social media posts, we send and receive gigabytes of information everyday via the internet. But, despite all the amazing opportunities it’s created, the online world has proved to be a hostile place.
Hackers break into databases and expose sensitive information, big companies collect too much of our personal data and abuse it, secret services spy on our conversations. To make the most of online, we need strong protection for our privacy. And here’s the answer to the digital dystopia: encryption.
What is encryption and why it is so important
Encryption is a way to protect personal information so that it cannot be easily read. To better understand, we can compare your data to treasure and encryption to a safe you would put it in - to protect it from thieves or scammers. Only you and those you trust have the keys to this safe.
Why you might need to encrypt your files
While a lot of confidential information goes online or - at least has a digital duplicate on your computer for your convenience, there’s always a risk this information could be exposed in a data breach or by a hacker. If somebody steals your data, it’s easy to use for whatever they want.
But when encrypted data gets stolen, it is useless for a cybercriminal unless they find a way to decrypt it. Overall, encryption adds an extra layer of protection to any sensitive data. So if you store any on a computer, then encryption is a good idea - better safe than sorry.
Types of encryption software
We’ll talk about the most common types of encryption apps that will be useful for everyone, regardless of their job or level of tech expertise.
Files, folders and disk encryption software
These kinds of apps are used to encrypt your computer’s files or folders. The Mac Operating System (macOS) also allows you to encrypt its whole file system with its inbuilt encryption tool FileVault. If a Mac with the FileVault encryption gets stolen, the information stored on the disk will be inaccessible. Taking out the disk won’t expose it either as nobody will be able to bypass the FileVault encryption.
For more info on the subject, see this guide on how to encrypt files and folders on a Mac.
Why you might need to encrypt your files?
If you run a business and there is a lot of confidential information on your computer, you wouldn’t want to lose this data or share it with anybody who can log in.
In this case, encryption is the best way to protect your data from unsolicited access. You can encrypt any files or folders: from text documents to photos, videos and audio files. It applies to anything you would only like others to see after they’ve asked for permission.
Encryption can also serve for more prosaic purposes. Let’s say, you keep a digital diary and you want it to be private: that’s where encryption comes into play. Encrypt the file or app and only you will have access to it.
The best disk encryption software should:
- have a user-friendly design
- use AES-256: the only method approved by the National Security Agency which is considered unhackable
Email encryption software
It is a good idea to encrypt your emails too. In the past, all emails were sent over the internet in plain text. You can compare this to sending an important document on a postcard: everybody can see what’s written on it.
Nowadays, most email providers use basic encryption for emails. In most cases, only the email provider can access content to filter emails for spam or phishing. Sometimes the harvested information is used for ad targeting.
For advanced encryption, you may want to use third-party clients. This offers end-to-end encryption so emails are encrypted from the moment of sending to the moment of opening. However, such software may not work in every scenario: to ensure proper encryption, both sender and recipient need to use the same app or service.
Passwords encryption software
Okay, we can encrypt the files on your computer and your emails. But is it possible to encrypt your passwords too? The good news is yes!
Password managers are your best bet if you have many online accounts all storing your sensitive information. These apps were designed to spare you the exhausting routine of writing passwords on a piece of paper and storing them in the safest place you could find.
The best password manager should:
- sync across computers and gadgets, so that you don’t need to remember passwords for mobile versions of apps or websites
- warn you about weak or repeated passwords
- encrypt your passwords and store them in a safe place
Internet connection encryption software
Wait, what? Encrypt the Internet? Exactly. While the Internet is not a file, folder, nor a password or account, you can still protect your connection using a VPN - virtual private network.
How does a VPN work? While connected to a VPN, your information has an additional level of protection. VPN technology is based on the concept of tunnelling. This is a process where data is securely transported from one device or network to another without compromising privacy. It employs data encapsulation and encryption to safely carry this information.
Using VPN is especially important if you connect to open Wi-Fi hotspots. With a VPN, your information can travel securely even via an unprotected Wi-Fi.
In addition, VPN changes your location: if you select, say, a Spanish server, it will look like you are browsing from Spain, so you will see Spanish versions of websites. A nice bonus of the VPN is that you can access services unavailable in your country.
All-in-all, the best VPN should:
- offer a fast connection and a considerable list of servers to choose from
- include your important locations
- be user-friendly
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We hope our guide on encryption software will help you enjoy your digital life without fear of your information being stolen or misused. Now you know more on how to stay safe online, dig deeper into what we call “The Internet of Us”.
Meanwhile, at Clario we’re hard at work on creating a first-class tech solution for your digital safety, combined with expert human support on call 24/7. We’re eager to help and support you, so stay tuned for more updates!