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3 surprising reasons for encrypting your hard drive

Paul Weeden

Written by Paul Weeden

Founder & Managing Director at Foration. IT and technology fixer.

[fa icon="clock-o"] 28 September 2016 [fa icon="user"] Paul Weeden [fa icon="folder-open'] advice, data security, IT support

Encryption can be a valuable tool in your data security arsenal, delivering a range of benefits to both individual computers and corporate networks alike. Encryption as a concept has existed for millennia. With the use of codes and cyphers to keep messages hidden used as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

And for a simple reason.

Encryption can be an extremely powerful protection against prying eyes.

The concept remains the same when it comes to encrypting your hard drive. Encryption, turns your data into content that’s completely indecipherable, only becoming readable again once you input the key code.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons – some of which may be a surprise to you – why you should be looking to encrypt your hard drive.

The Vulnerability of Passwords

When we consider the protection of data on our hard drive, invariably it is by use of passwords. However, while passwords offer a barrier to your data, they remain susceptible to breach. Hackers and other miscreants who seek access to your sensitive data can get around passwords. That phrase or slogan, the kids’ birthdates that you use to login to your PC provide scant protection against a savvy hacker.

Moreover, should your laptop or PC fall into the wrong hands then your password is likely to become completely redundant as the hard drive can simple be removed and plugged or inserted into another device, providing access to all the data on the drive.

Including the passwords you may have saved.

Encryption, on the other hand, is NOT a barrier protection. It’s a complete blockage to the data itself. By encrypting your hard drive you effectively jumble the data, rendering it indecipherable to anyone not in possession of the key code.

Protection Against Physical / Device Theft

So even if your device does end up in the possession of a ne’er do well, the data on the drive is protected.

Which makes encryption of your hard drive of particularly important when guarding against theft.

This can be of particular importance when we consider the increase in mobile and remote working. Sensitive data stored on a laptop, tablet or mobile can be particularly vulnerable should you be one of those who has left it in a taxi, on a train or at the pub, airport (with up to 10 million devices across the UK reportedly lost each year!).

Protection Against Identity Theft

We store so much information on our hard drive about ourselves, our work, lives and finances. The average hard drive is likely to have, within its many files, images, photos and videos, personal identifiers such as important addresses, email addresses, date of birth, maybe our National Insurance and passport details. There may be contact lists of friends, family and colleagues as well as sensitive material relating to them.

And then there’s the potential financial information that may be stored within: salary details, bank details, credit card numbers.

Your entire life, from work to family and everything in between, is likely stored upon your hard drive. Data that, if left unprotected by encryption, could be vulnerable should your device ever fall into the wrong hands.


Whether for work or personal use, your hard drive will contain huge amounts of sensitive data that needs to be protected. And while passwords offer a token barrier to this data, they provide little real protection against those determined to gain access to the info. Encrypting your hard drive adds a complete protection for your data even if lost or stolen, delivering peace of mind for the user.

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Paul Weeden

Written by Paul Weeden

Founder & Managing Director at Foration. IT and technology fixer.

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