Data encryption is an essential tool that helps protect the confidentiality and privacy of your firm’s sensitive digital information during storage and transmission.

This complex technology automatically scrambles your data to protect it from prying eyes and unscrambles the same data so that you and other authorized parties can work with it.

Encryption works seamlessly in the background every day to secure data, including when it is:

  • “at rest” on a server, hard drive, laptop, mobile device or flash drive.
  • “in transit” across your local computer network or over the internet.

Computer systems, software applications and online services like email all utilize encryption to protect sensitive digital information from cyber threats.

Benefits of Data Encryption

Encryption is important for any business that handles private or confidential information and is often required by law. In combination with other data security technologies and procedures, encryption helps minimize key data risks, including:

  • Physical theft
  • Unauthorized access
  • Data tampering
  • Human error
  • Confidentiality breaches
  • Regulatory violations

Encryption helps you meet data security and privacy obligations and can even protect you if your data falls into the wrong hands.

Encrypting Your Sensitive Information

Encryption capabilities are built into most modern devices and software. Some encryption is enabled by default, automatically protecting your data in transit. Other in-transit and at-rest encryption protocols must be enabled by the end user or their software administrator.

Data in transit encryption on by default for:

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Google Workspaces
  • Apple iCloud Mail

Data at rest encryption off by default for:

  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS X
  • iPhone
  • Android

Password-protected mail messaging is available for Outlook, Gmail and Mac Mail messages, but the feature must be set up and turned on.

Steps to Encrypt Your Data

Encrypting your sensitive digital information is a simple and affordable step you can take to protect your business from risk. Follow these best practices to encrypt your data:

  • Check if data encryption is already enabled.
  • Determine where and how data will be encrypted.
  • Train employees on the procedure to encrypt data.
  • Enable encryption according to software instructions.

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