Stammy Says Whole Disk Encryption Doesn't Have To Be Painful

This one is a shout out to the tin foil types who, like me, think all their data is insecure or is worried about losing a device that contains personal data.

To secure this information the holy grail is whole disk encryption or WDE. PGP recently released a VERY Mac friendly product (They have had a PC one for ages) that makes sure your data stays yours.

A good blogging buddy of mine, Paul Stamatiou, took a look at PGP’s WDE for Mac and has concluded that having great security doesn’t have to be hard and kill all the resources of your computer.

Setting up PGP WDE had quite a few steps but was a pretty smooth process overall. After installing the actual PGP Desktop application, I was led through creating and publishing a PGP key. When that was done, it was time to embark on the task of actually encrypting my hard drive.

PGP Whole Disk provides the next level of security and convenience by encrypting your entire disk. The encryption process can be lengthy, however PGP desktop runs in the background. You may also pause and resume the process at your convenience.

All I had to do was select my hard drive, provide a passphrase and it began encrypting my hard drive. As the snippet above explained, PGP WDE encrypts in the background, unlike Apple’s FileVault which locks you out for hours while it encrypts. The entire encryption process took about 2.5 hours on my 1.6GHz MacBook Air, which had 55GB of data in use. […]

The first question I get asked when people find out that my hard drive is encrypted is how the performance of my computer is affected with the constant encryption/decryption process going on in the background. I’m pleased to report that I have not experienced any negative, discernible performance issues. It feels exactly the same as before I installed PGP WDE.

Check out his site for the whole write up which I feel is written so that the average security paranoid person can understand why or why not they need this protection. Very well done!

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