Does my data need to be encrypted?

Olga Weis

We are so exposed in this modern digital world and rather vulnerable. But at the same time do we have to encrypt and protect every little file we have on our computer or in our cloud storage? Is it any reasonable to encrypt your random MP3 files? Before you decide on encryption, consider what information you need to protect this way. Ask yourself if you would have shredded this file if it was on paper so that no one could read what was in it? Or think how would you react to someone obtaining this file and sharing its contents over the Internet? This will usually help you decide on whether you should consider encryption for certain files.

Data encryption

When Encryption Actually Helps


Generally there are two types of sensitive data you should encrypt: personally identifiable information and confidential business information/intellectual property. Personally Identifiable Information or PII is the type of data that can identify you personally and allow identity thieves to use it to impersonate you. Such information can include social security number, passport number, driver's license number, taxpayer identification number, street address or email address, your photographic image, fingerprints, handwriting, biometric data, date of birth, place of birth, race, religion, weight, activities, geographical indicators, employment information, medical information, education information, and financial information, bank account statements, credit card statements, tax records, and other similar information.

And you already know, but we'll just put it here: of course passwords and PINs are to be encrypted. It's best to keep them in a password manager.

Files that are work related are probably requiring encryption as well, especially those that contain individual customer information. Depending on the industry you work in you may be subject to regulatory standards for protecting consumer information.

No matter if it is personal or corporate information you are protecting, if your laptop or computer gets stolen, you would want the information to be of no value to thieves. After all we don't care that much about hardware, the data is the most important asset.

Cloud Data Protection

CloudMounter for Mac

When you are working with the cloud storages and are sending data back and forth there are two things that will make your life easier. First is being able to mount your cloud storages as Mac disks and work with online files in Finder as if they were stored on your hard drive. Second is being able to encrypt sensitive data that you have to keep in a cloud. Cloud data protection is essential too. CloudMounter is a mighty little app that allows you to mount any cloud drive on your Mac and work with the files there in Finder without any additional sync process or having to save them on hard drive. Also this solution provides data security and privacy protection for your sensitive data in clouds by encrypting your files. If it happens that someone gets access to your clouds, they will see a complete nonsense in the encrypted files, because there is nothing they can do without decryption key. Also you have the possibility to set up your clouds to only be accessible from your copy of CloudMounter, and no place else.

And in conclusion it is absolutely up to you whether to encrypt your docs or not, but if you decide it is the right thing to do, cloud encryption software will help you encrypt your online data and keep it safe even though it is floating somewhere on the web.

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CloudMounter

Requirements: OS X 10.10+ , 13.1Mb free space
Version 3.4.546 (9th Sep, 2018) Release notes
Category: System Utilities