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The next step will be to encrypt your device and the data on it. Encryption means to encode messages or information that only authorised persons can read if they have the correct password to decrypt the file. Therefore, use a strong password to prevent hackers from cracking into the system easily. Be aware that encryption does make your device operate slightly slower than usual.

Hard drive encryption

Imagine a big gate in front of your house defending strangers from entering. This gate is only safe when you lock it with several chains from the inside. This gate is like your hard drive. Encrypting the hard drive puts protective ‘chains’ on your computer that make it difficult for hackers to enter. To ensure that the chains are strong enough, use AES 256 – one of the most successful encryption methods to date. Other recommended software products to encrypt your hard drive are VeraCrypt (Windows) or FileVault (Mac).

Data encryption

After encrypting your hard drive, you automatically locked the data on it, too. It is only necessary to encrypt the data if you want to be double secured. This result also prevents potential spies from accessing or to reading documents on your device. Recommended software products for data encryption include ‘Bitlocker’ and ‘VeraCrypt’ (Windows), ‘FileVault’ (Mac), or ‘Crypto Disk’. It’s also possible to pack files together in one encrypted archive using ‘7-Zip’ (Linux).

Encrypt your phone

As mobile phones are often used as computers today, it is also very important to encrypt your phone and the documents on it. The iPhone is already encrypted when buying it, and you do not have to enable this function. However, Android users will need to encrypt their phones manually. As the Android market is very fragmented, check online-sources for explanations about your phone.

USB encryption and backups

A USB device is another place journalists store information and data, so these devices need to be protected similar to computers and phones. You might also use a USB to backup these primary devices. It is recommended to make various copies of your information in case something goes wrong with your data. Make sure to use different devices to store the copies, to make a backup and encrypt the different backup devices or files.