Encrypting phones, computers, and files

Diana Beebe's Blog, Mermaids Don't Do Windows, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasyYesterday, I talked about destroying browser history. Today, I’m talking about protecting computer files with encryption.

Before your eyes glaze over and you forget that you’re here, let me just say that encryption can be as simple as a pass code or swipe pattern that you use to lock your phone.

If you don’t lock your phone with either of those, you should. Go into your phone’s security settings to set it up. Super easy! And then you don’t end up with strange pictures on your phone when you leave it somewhere, say, in your house or at work. I know someone who takes hundreds pictures at a time on friends’ phones if they leave them unattended.

Diana Beebe's Blog, Mermaids Don't Do Windows, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy
Hijacked phone camera. It happens!

If you have a child with an iPhone, you can also set restrictions (or parental controls) to limit browsing, adult content (we all know how innocent searches can lead down places of no return), application downloads and purchasing, and more.

When I started writing GLOW, my pantsing ways led me straight into a world of encrypted files and computer hard drives that my main character has to break so she can uncover the secrets that threaten her and her twin’s lives.Diana Beebe's Blog, Mermaids Don't Do Windows, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy

My main character is just at good at destroying browser history and covering her tracks when she pokes around computer places and does other things that are probably illegal. She uses what she knows to survive.

So I hollered at my Tech Guy (Jay Donovan at TechSurgeons.com), and he loaded me up with enough information to make my head explode. It was a mess. Zombie feast messy. And you know how much I like to clean.

You can password protect your files, too. In Word and Excel, go to File > Save as, select Tools > General Options, and then set up the password.

To get my feet wet with bigger stuff, I’m going to encrypt a thumb drive. Here is some tech information I found with a simple internet search, but be careful. Don’t make it too easy for the zombies to feast.

Need I remind my friends to destroy the history? πŸ˜€

Β Do you keep your phone, computer, or thumb drives encrypted to protect your information?

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11 comments on… “Encrypting phones, computers, and files”

  1. I had no idea random people would take my phone and take pictures! Now my grand kids… but yeah, I keep it locked down. Did you see that story about the cell phones people turned in and um, didn’t restore factory settings? Someone bought the phones for an art project, found, er, photos and interesting texts and created a visual project from them. A very racy project.

    Now I don’t take racy photos with my cell, but if I did and I turned in a phone? Factory reset would be my first thing. Like if there was something before first, I’d do that. LOL

    • Diana Beebe

      I didn’t see that story about the phone art project! I can’t even imagine turning in a phone without wiping it first—not that I’d have racy stuff to get rid of. The privacy issues there give me the heebie jeebies!

  2. Great tips! I don’t encrypt or password protect my phone. My toddler is the only one who takes random pictures with it so far. πŸ™‚ I’d probably get a good laugh if one of my friends took pictures on my phone. I do encrypt certain folders on my computer, but not everything.

    • Diana Beebe

      Some encryption is better than none! The pictures the kids take on my phone when I’m not looking are always entertaining (or a million of the same flower!). I do keep my phone protected, but I let them have access to the games. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great post with some good information. I have a friend that does the extra mile and even wipes the free space on his machine just in case something on the harddrive gets lost. Never pays to be too cautious.

  4. Diana, I’m afraid I’m lax in the area of security. My husband is always reminding me to back up or scan. Unfortunately, I usually think I’ll do it when I finished the post or chapter I’m working on, and you know what happens next! πŸ™‚ Thanks for an entertaining and informative post.

    • Diana Beebe

      I know what you mean. I don’t up my work near as often as I should. I’m so glad you stopped by! πŸ˜€

  5. Pingback: Jumping Flashy Thumb Drives | Diana Beebe's Blog

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