Should You Be Using Encryption?

With everyone and their Uncle Sam spying on your online activities these days, the question is: should you be using encryption to keep your online communications private.  The answer is: you probably are already.

For instance, any time that you are using a web site that has an HTTPS address, such as,, that session between your computer and the bank’s server is encrypted.

Some of us are using encrypted email systems.  You may be doing so without even knowing you did it.  Comcast recently has asked all their mail customers to convert to SSL encrypted mail ports when using an email program like Outlook or Windows Mail.  If you have this option, I would recommend it.

Windows 7 and 8 have even made it easy to encrypt the entire contents of your hard drive.  That way if your laptop is stolen, the thief can’t just browse your hard drive looking for personal data without your encryption key, or secret password.

Encryption is not only a good thing, it may be the next thing you want to be doing to keep your information secure.

But be aware that simply USING encryption may cause the NSA to pay more attention to your online activities.  So there may be a down side to encryption, too.

There is a really great article on this subject in Tech Republic that covers this issue in a bit more detail, and it is definitely worth a look.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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