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Thread: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

  1. #1
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    What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    Hi

    I want to be able to encrypt some data so that you need a pass code to access it. Does anyone know what the advantages/disadvantages of Full Disk Data Encryption is? Does it slow your machine down? Is it worth it? I have some important finical information I want kept safe.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    Re: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    The advantage is keeping data safe.

    But your data is only safe when it is encrypted. Once it is decrypted it is the same as any other file or partition.

    So, lets say you have an encrypted partition /dev/sd007

    The data will not be readable until you mount it, and to mount it you will need a password.

    Once you enter the password and mount the data it is decrypted and will act like any other partition.

    Same goes for directories and files.

    Holds true for any encryption algorithm.

    There is obviously some "overhead" with encryption, but this will vary by technique (ie gpg vs truecrypt vs encryptfs vs LUKS).

    In practice I do not see much of a performance hit on a desktop running an encrypted root and swap partition.

    =====

    I think the better question is what do you want to accomplish with encryption ?

    In a nut shell encryption protects you data if someone has physical access to your system or data and the file (or directory or file system) is unmounted.

    Once the data is decrypted it is no more or less secure than any other data.
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  3. #3
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    Re: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    Can I just encrypt one folder?
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  4. #4
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    Re: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    Yeah with Encfs and fuse and it works well but with full disc or encrypted directory you want to always make an unencrypted backup in case you get screwed over.

  5. #5
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    Re: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    Yes, using PGP.

    Daniel

  6. #6
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    Re: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    I've noticed when doing large file transfers between 2 encrypted partitions my transfer speed was knocked down noticeably. (a few megabytes/sec) My processor was bottlenecking the process though as it was at a full hundred precent, this is an amd64 3700+.

    edit: really what's the point of encryption if your are going to make an unencrypted backup?

    Maybe encrypt the backup with a different key...
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    Re: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Connor View Post
    with full disc or encrypted directory you want to always make an unencrypted backup in case you get screwed over.
    Nope, you can put it onto another encrypted device However I agree with the backup... and no matter what, you should always have a backup, regardless of whether you use encryption, regardless of whether you're going to repartition a few things... having backups is a must because there can always be something that messes your data totally up (e.g. harddisk may fail).

  8. #8
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    Re: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    If you do a full encryption, then if your harddrive gets damaged then it is possible that everything is gone, because you have 1 big file on the disk, this very unsafe.
    But if you make with truecrypt on a disk like 5 file's, then if 1 file gets damaged, the other 4 you can get back.

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    Re: What are the advantages/disadvantages of full Data Encryption?

    Quote Originally Posted by pietjanjaap View Post
    If you do a full encryption, then if your harddrive gets damaged then it is possible that everything is gone, because you have 1 big file on the disk, this very unsafe.
    But if you make with truecrypt on a disk like 5 file's, then if 1 file gets damaged, the other 4 you can get back.
    That's why you need backups

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