What is Encryption?
Public key encryption works using a pair of keys, a Private Key and a Public Key. Each person sending and receiving encrypted data has their own Private and Public key. They also have the Public keys of other people to whom they want to send encrypted data. One of the best encryption systems is called PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) which is very good indeed, especially if you opt to use the 4096bit encryption.
Why encrypt a message or file?
Encryption is recommended for any messages or files that contain either personal or sensitive data. Once you have encrypted a message or file then only yourself and any intended participants will be able to read the message or open the file.
What can I encrypt?
You can encrypt messages and most if not all file types, ranging from word and spreadsheet files, to images and videos. If encrypting video files larger than 70 MB you will need to compress the file prior to encryption. The Team recommend the use of HandBrake to do this and have put together guidance for this.
What to do next?
The Team have developed a PGP Encryption RLO to take staff and students through the steps needed to download and install encryption software (for both PC and Mac), how to generate, import and export keys and how to encrypt and decrypt files. For those of you who need to reduce the file size of large video files to prepare them for encryption, we have also included guidance on how to install and use HandBrake.