Should You Encrypt Your Computer Hard Drive?

Should You Encrypt Your Computer Hard Drive?


encrypting your hard drive that sounds like some sort of super complicated process that involves hours of coding and mathematical calculations just to protect your data and you might also think that if you do it it would be somehow difficult to ever access that data because it’s well encrypt it but in reality encrypting your hard drive is pretty easy and in most cases if you do it you won’t even notice any difference in how you use your computer and there are actually a few different options that you have if you want to do it based on both software and hardware so that’s what we’re going to talk about today so first of all why would you want to encrypt your hard drive anyway what are the pros and cons well the main reason is very straightforward you can probably guess already which is that when you encrypt your hard drive the data is safe if anyone were to physically steal your computer you see how it works is when you first encrypt the drive obviously all your data is encrypted with a key and obfuscated with whatever can you choose so if anyone were to take that drive out or try to boot up without the password they wouldn’t have any of the data it would all just look like nonsense but then how are you supposed to use the drive well the software that you use to encrypt the drive will encrypt and decrypt the data on the fly so the operating system doesn’t have to worry about it so when the operating system needs a certain piece of data the software will read it off the drive decrypt it first and then feed it to the operating system and when the operating system wants to write something to the death again the software will encrypt it before putting it on the drive so really your computer will look and feel exactly the same as it did before of course if you need to encrypt and decrypt the data on the fly all the time you are going to get some performance loss from the overhead anytime you need to read or write something it takes a bit of processing power to do so but depending on your computer power this might not even be noticeable at all but still depending on your situation it might not be worth it but there is a hardware option that has basically zero overhead and we’ll get into that in a bit you also have to take into consideration the difficulty in setting up the disk encryption in the first place based on the different options with a laptop for example I really it’s absolutely essential to encrypt your hard drive simply because you’re so much more likely to have it stolen or lose it but for a desktop probably a lot less likely to get it stolen though I still think I guess it is possible I suppose so let’s talk about software encryption first I think for most people the best option would just be to use the encryption feature built right into windows called BitLocker it might not be the absolute most secure options but it’s certainly good enough i mean for most people they just want to worry about not having your data stolen by a common thief or something like that i think the government wants your date and they steal your laptop your kind of screwed but it is probably the easiest method BitLocker and with BitLocker to encrypt the drive you basically just have to go into the options and windows and enable the feature then follow the prompts and it does all the work for you choose a password it gives you a backup key file in case you forget it and then it automatically encrypt the drive and you can even keep using the computer while it does so because again it’s all on the fly then the only difference you’ll notice from then on is that you have to boot up the computer and type in an extra password or depending on your settings it might just use your windows password and then there’s basically no difference at all but i should point out that not everyone will have access to the BitLocker feature because it does have some system requirements first of all you need a version of windows that includes it these would be windows seven ultimate or Enterprise editions windows 8 professional or enterprise or Windows 10 professional or enterprise or the education version i believe as well the home editions of windows do not have BitLocker unfortunately also your computer will need what’s called a trusted platform module or TPM which is a hardware chip that is part of the computer itself so if your computer doesn’t have one you’re kind of out of luck it really have to be building with it and you technically can enable BitLocker without a tpm but it’s more complicated and difficult than most people watching this video are willing to do so i’m not going to get into that the good news is though that most modern mid-range and high-end laptop should include a TPM chip but if you can’t use BitLocker there our other free disk encryption programs like Vera Crypt rift which will encrypt your whole hard drive do the same thing but– stop after password and you can look that up but showing you how to use that is beyond the scope of this video now what if you don’t want to go through all the trouble of using software to encrypt your drive or you don’t want to lose any performance well as I kind of mentioned earlier in the video there’s a hardware option and the form of so-called self encrypting drive and these are like the best of both worlds basically since they offer pretty much zero loss in performance but still protect all your data in the same way myself encrypting drive is really just like a regular old drive either hard drive or SSD but it usually is a solid state drive these days only it’s going to have a dedicated chip on it whose job is to self encrypt data on the fly so with a self encrypting drive instead of relying on software to encrypt or decrypt the data while being written to a red now you have a dedicated component built right into the drive so this means that you no longer have to use the computers resources for the job and therefore no loss and performance and using it is basically the same you set a password then without that password no one can boot up the computer or access any data on it but otherwise it behaves the same as regular disk drive so where can you get one of these mysterious self encrypting drives well you really does that look for one when you’re shopping for a drive surprisingly this feature is not that well advertised even drives that have them even though it’s super useful especially for laptop we’re losing is more likely but also for desktop since there’s basically no downside that size having to type in an extra password actually if you have a high-end ssd you might actually have the feature already without realizing it for example the latest samsung pro-series SSC’s such as the 850 pro or 950 pro those are self encrypting they have that feature built-in you just need to enable it but if you were to look at the newegg product page for these drives it doesn’t even mention encryption anywhere so unless you were to go to samsung’s website and look at the drives specs there you wouldn’t out some things to look for if you are specifically looking for itself encrypting tribes is if the specs mentioned phrases such as FDE which stands for full disk encryption or sed which stands for self encrypting drive or opal which is a drive security specification for self encrypted drives because opal it probably is self encrypting now finally I guess I should go over what encryption will not do for you it’s not magic so for example it’s not going to stop hackers from reading your data like if you get a virus since when the computer is booted up after you enter the password to drive behaves like a regular old drive like I just said and any data that you can read easily the virus can as well what it will do is stop someone from physically accessing your drive if they don’t have the password if the drive is not powered up like they steal it after it’s turned off or something like that or i guess if you have the dr networks but not decrypted at the time they can’t access that either obviously but the main thing is if someone steals your computer the drive is going to be completely useless assuming you use a very strong password that would take forever to brute-force so as I mentioned several times before if you’re trying to figure out whether or not it’s worth it to encrypt your drive i’d consider it absolutely necessary for a laptop that you take outside your house you might not think you have anything important on there but you probably do for example do you stay logged into your email on your laptop or do you have personal files with any kind on your laptop there’s a good chance these could be used against you without even realizing it if they were to be stolen so even though your laptop is gone at least you can rest easy that your data is safe and a lot of people don’t even realize that your phone like I phones these days android phones by default enable full phone encryption so that’s why someone steals it they can just plug it in and access all your data without the pin now obviously a pin number is not exactly super strong for an encryption password not all but most of the time these phones also have brute force countermeasures built-in so it really limits how many times someone can try a password and then if you type in a password too many times wrong then it just erases the phone altogether so there’s some countermeasures built into phones but for your computer a lot of people did they just don’t encrypt it all and your data’s is just there so even if you have a password on your laptop but it’s not encrypted it’s useless someone can just unplug that drive plug it into a computer they don’t have to worry about that password because they’re just looking at the raw data so i would definitely suggest at least considering encrypting your drive depending on the importance of the data on it definitely for a laptop or something like that maybe for desktop if you’re in a high risk area i guess but still not a bad idea so I guess that’s it hopefully I gave you guys some ideas I didn’t want to get too in-depth into technical as a tutorial or something like that but hopefully guys still enjoy this video if you did like it if you could give a thumbs up I’d really appreciate it that’d be great and also let me know down in the comments section do you encrypt your drive you not bother or do you only do it sometimes let us now and also if you want to continue watching I’ll put some other videos right here you can click on those even if you’re on a phone and if you want to subscribe I make new videos every Tuesday Thursday Saturday so it should be worth it and also consider clicking the bell next the subscribe button so you can get actual notification’s so you tube will actually show you the new videos so again thank you guys for watching and as usual I’ll see you next time have a good one

100 thoughts to “Should You Encrypt Your Computer Hard Drive?”

  1. so now i can encript all my porn, i dont feel confortable thinking that someone else can have access to my porn collection

  2. What about virtual machines are those encrypted. I keep all of my important files on my virtual machine which is password protected.

  3. Great video. If one purchases a self encrypting drive, is there a way to turn it off, and then on when you travel. I consider my computer very secure at home, well at least as much as it can be, but when traveling, that is when I would want to encrypt it, incase it was lost or stolen, but I don't want to be bothered with typing a password in every time when I am at home. Does anyone know.

  4. Is there any way to encrypt my MacBook Pro 2016 SSD with the hardware encryption? FileVault had performance loss

  5. My advice as well as using some encryption would be to use a non encrypted OS on either a separate drive or partition that contains a locator program. Just something that can sent the devices current external IP to you when it is powered on again.

  6. How to encrypt your hard drive on a Mac.

    1 Open System Preferences
    2 Click Security and Privacy
    3 Click FileVault
    4 Click the lock at the bottom left corner, enter your password
    5 Click Turn On FileVault

    Works on all currently supported Macs (and some/most older ones)

  7. The truth is no one cares about your data. If someone actually stole your portable device, it's mainly to sell it for cash. Since data mining only benefit companies like Microsoft or Google. Now, you know they already have most of your data, right? These companies and your government know more about you than you do. Why waste your time encrypting what we in the USA no longer have the right to keep private?

  8. Dont forget your USB drives too. How many people have a backup of their data on a USB drive on their keyring (I do), and your even more likey to loose them. And yes amy laptop is BitLocked.

  9. See I didn't really know that my evo 850 pro had the ability of hardware encryption, thanks for the information! Also great video!

  10. Way back in the days of 8086.., Encryption was a time waster.., So, so slow.

    Encryption in the '80s you say? Encryption was as bad as COMPRESSION for applications back then. SLOW.

  11. Microsoft already offers encryption software that comes free with their OSes that are meant for businesses – BitLocker.

  12. I watched your video and when you was talking about Bit Locker, how it is only available in certain Windows Versions. Well you are correct their. But by me using Windows 10 Home, I do not have that option for me to use. In my own personal use, what I have found to be the best for me, is locking up the Bios!! Once you lock up the Bios, the computer WILL NOT Boot Up, until you enter the password that was created. To me that would be the best Security against any one taking the computer. Because if they did take the computer, they or he or she, WOULD NOT BE ABEL TO START THE COMPUTER AT ALL. When the Bios is locked. It prevents Windows from loading until the password is entered into the computer.

  13. Nice video-have been told that if one byte of encrypted info malfunctions, data is not accessible. True or False? Thanks

  14. Hey, does encrypt the HDD affects the gaming performance ? If the game is installed on an encrypted drive?

  15. I just use BitLocker just for my USB
    Why? My friend (no longer friend) stole it and I got it back and he stole it AGAIN and he couldn't get in 😆

  16. !!!BEST WAY TO ENCRYPT YOUR FILES!!!
    Is to use ransomware
    100% risk "free" no fees, 100% FREE!!*
    *decryption fees not included

  17. Well it's sounds funny enough but it can be useful if you Google more on YouTube someone mentioned thio Joe as comic actor for computers.

  18. I dont encrypt the drive, instead all important files are zipped via 7zip with a password and then synced to google drive. Probably not the best protection but better than none i guess!

  19. It is not true the hard drive is useless when is stolen. Just remove the hard drive and access as external hard drive and use the recovery data program will bypass the bit locker encryption.

  20. Why would I pull out their HDD or SSD to read what is on it when I could just plug in a usb with a live os, look at their data, then take what I want (or insert what I want)?

  21. i forgot my encryption password on my external hard drive. it's called samsung security zone the software i'm fucked xD

  22. I wonder how paranoide is this guys, most of the “must do, no matter how good you are” safety requirements are mostly useless if you have some pc knowledge and don’t be a idiot online, I never run anti virus and I never got an virus in my life. And for the card core virus such as “wanna cry” ransomware will still easily attack any computer regardless wether if it’s encrypted or has a anti virus.

  23. I use kakasoft encryption software to secure my drives. You should try it. It's free and it's the best I could find.

  24. I did encrypt my external hard drive, but what I want to know is if I insert it on the computer that already has a virus and its virus kinda make your files hidden or corrupt them. Will it still be possible for the virus to corrupt your files if the drive is still unlocked?

  25. thio joe gon from "it says joke" and it dosnt

    to

    basicly linus tech tips without the giant budget and anoying voived presenter

  26. I encourage people to use Veracrypt to create at least containers in which they can put sensible data ( passwords, etc ). It´s VERY easy to configure, and it´s impossible to crack if you make it according to security measures.

  27. I’ve just been backing my MacBook Air using Time Machine and it’s been “encrypting” for ages! How do I stop it?

  28. Hey Joe. Would you consider doing a video on the best external hard drives for durability, speed and encryption options? Really enjoy your videos, man. They're super useful.

  29. @ThioJoe I recently wanted to start a channel extremely similar to yours. I know a good amount about computers but I love watching your videos because things I think about on a daily basis get answered or reiterated! Thanks so much for what you do! Usually you have very relevant information and I love the opinions.

  30. Good video well explained too! I still would advice to use Veracrypt. It;s pretty user-friendly and very safe in comparison with his older version truecrypt. Maybe because i don't trust windows bitlock!

  31. What If I want to encrypt an external backup hard drive? If I need to backup restore the respektive windows image, will I be able to access the encrypted drive from Windows installation menu?

  32. 2:50 That's the problem with idiots like you, STOP FUCKING SPREADING YOUR MISINFORMATION TO EVERYBODY! MY FUCKING DISK IS ENCRYPTED, AND IF THE GOVERNMENT WANTS MY INFORMATION, THEY WILL NEED MY PASSWORD AND PIM TO DECRYPT, I WON'T GIVE NEITHER. IDIOT.

  33. I have Encrypted my Disk using VeraCrypt anyways, but why do Home Versions of Windows doesn't include BitLocker? Microsoft is really a cunt and a shit… For such reasons I cracked Windows, I only pay for Reliable Software ;).

  34. mm VeraCrypt is very Good.
    People are Ignorantes (REGARDLESS), and fucking Companies do trick them. Encryption is not good for advertisement purposes, people are stupid, THREAT THEM STUPID. Normal morons think they don't need an Encrypted Drive, idiots.

  35. Let's see if I get this right. If you don't use a password to open your computer BitLocker encryption won't stop anyone from accessing and reading files although its encrypted. BitLocker doesn't require read or write authentication as long as your have accessed Windows. But if you DO use password to access the computer and someone removed the hard drive from the computer cause they didn't have the login password, and they installed the drive in another computer then all the files encrypted wouldn't be readable cause every file would just be scrambled textfiles? Is it possible to open them at all? What file types would the files have on Windows if the HD was removed and installed in another computer? Would the MIME protocol recognize the different file types and show them as such in the file browser? Could you see native file types from different apps like Adobe, Office etc? Like doc, psd and so on? So what happens when you try to open encrypted files from a stolen and re-installed HD?

  36. Hi can I ask a question, it's kinda out of the topic but I got a first time "Copyright Violation" letter from my ISP and I myself don't want to get the notice more further into seriousness so I am basically scared because I've downloaded a few games and movies trough torrent and that's might be the reason why I got a copyright violation notice. So here's the question do I still "need" to encrypt the games and movies I've downloaded through the torrent just to prevent having a "Copyright Violation" letter?. Please I need an answer for me to be calm, I am scared if I might get called to the court and pay penalty.

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