Personal privacy Part I – Choose from encryption tools




That is meegekeken widely with our digital communicate and act, at least since 2013 not a vague fear, but a reality. Governments take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the advancing technology to gain insight into communication, often without distinguishing between relevant and less relevant information. These practices often conflict with fundamental rights such as the right to respect for privacy and perhaps indirectly with freedom of expression. These rights are balanced against security and counter-terrorism, which cast an increasing clout. It is therefore not surprising that the privacy takes on the traits of a struggle in which encryption is an important weapon. It is therefore no coincidence talked about the ” crypto wars ” which are conducted since the advent of strong encryption and accessible through computers.


“Watchful Eye” Mike Lewinsky CC BY-SA 2.0

The latest development in this war is the struggle for power that emanated from the court order that allows the FBI access to Apple’s iPhone was trying to force it . This was the notion of encryption for a large group of users tangible in the form of an iPhone 5c, which with a numeric code encrypted content seemed unattainable for the US government. Eventually, it became clear that the FBI with the aid of a hitherto unknown third party has found a way to the contents of the phone trace . Although the case has so far no legal precedent, but it shows that privacy can be surrendered to the will of companies to protect their clients. Apple has taken a clear position and along with that undertaking many other tech companies. WhatsApp also recently dropped to a major step by end-to-end encryption conduct for all its users. Yet there are plenty of companies that are not willing or able to go so far. It is therefore important to themselves to keep some control over private information and communication.

Privacy can be surrendered to the will of companies to protect their customers

The course not only governments which we want to protect our data. Cybercriminals example, in many cases looking for financial information, such as on credit cards or online banking. And at home, but traveling can be helpful to know how private information can remain and how data with people in other countries can be shared safely.

This is the first part of a series on personal privacy, in which we discuss the tools that allow users to arm themselves against prying parties. The huge amount of different products makes it difficult to choose. This article is also intended as a guide and provides information that can facilitate a choice. In addition, we focus on software that is free and open source. In the next parts of this series we’re going to include anonymity and secure communications.


In February published security expert Bruce Schneier a list of encryption products that are available worldwide. His research showed that there are a total of 865 products from 55 countries offering various forms of encryption. Two thirds of the products comes from outside the US and it is again 44 percent and 34 percent free open source.

it is generally not possible with paid products to see the source code, as companies seek to protect their creation. The fact that the software is open source, does not guarantee safety, but it is a step in the right direction. In encryption products, it is indeed important to understand the source code, so you have the opportunity at least to check them for possible backdoors and other vulnerabilities. Sometimes this is done through audits. However, that is not obvious, since such studies are expensive. If a particular program is audited, we list it.

Another important distinction is that between applications that encrypt an entire disk or volume, and applications that encrypt individual files.

Open source does not guarantee safety, but it is a step in the right direction

The first category is especially useful when users want to protect an entire system, for example a laptop. Because the hard drive is fully encrypted data without the correct key can not be read if the laptop is lost or stolen. Often a password must be entered in this form of encryption prior to start your computer. Also, it is often possible with this type of software in order to create an encrypted volume in the form of a container or folder. Each file that is placed in this folder is automatically encrypted. An advantage is that a volume is often but occasionally have to be coupled, wherein a password is required. Then files can be added and changed easily. The disadvantage of this kind of encryption is that files are encrypted only as long as they are on the system. For example, if a file is shared via email, ‘following’ encryption not the file.

The solution to this problem can be found in software that encrypts individual files. Thus it is usually possible to provide a file encryption, then it gets another extension and can only be opened with the correct password. The advantage of this is that an encrypted file can be shared with others; the downside is that the password must be known to the other party. However, there are programs that solve this problem by using a key pair with a public and a private key. A disadvantage is that a file again devel- any time and must be encrypted if the user wants to make changes.

In our discussion of the ecryptieproducten we largely out of the assessment model of the Enisa, the European Network and Information Security Agency. This should include for example the availability of information, resources, version history and the frequency of updates.

Next page
TrueCrypt and Vera Crypt

1. Personal privacy and encryption
2. TrueCrypt and Vera Crypt
3. BitLocker and AES Crypt
4. Gpg4win and CipherShed
5. AxCrypt and Cryptomator
6. Mini Lock and Disk Utility
7. Finally,

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