Online and cyber security are absolutely crucial nowadays, especially considering just how much personal and professional data people choose to share online through social networks. You may think that only certain people can see your data and that your devices are protected through firewalls and anti-virus software – but these could be virtually useless defences against a very determined hacker. Luckily, there are plenty of extra steps you can take to protect your sensitive or valuable data. One of the simplest, and also one of the most affordable methods, are encryption devices.

How encryption devices work

Encryption helps you to store and transmit data securely so that only the intended recipient can access it and if it does fall into the wrong hands, the encrypted data will be entirely useless. Encryption is like sending your data in code, and unless a recipient has the decryption information (just like a cypher if you're a fan of your spy novels) – they simply cannot view, listen or read the data and have it make any sense at all.

For a practical example of how encryption devices can protect data, let’s look at a specific product the DatAshur Encrypted Flash USB Stick. This is a storage device that automatically encrypts data as soon as it is transferred to the device, using a hardware encryption engine built into the device. It requires a PIN in order to unlock the documents and files stored on it, but unlike ordinary PIN-accessible systems, this device will automatically delete the encryption key if someone enters the wrong PIN 10 times in a row. Again, just like a spy story, this is essentially an auto-destruct feature in order to preserve the security of the USB’s contents.

It cannot be hacked either, as the PIN must be entered using an onboard keypad, not an external keyboard. It is resistant to tampering in virtually every way, being both waterproof and having a strong casing that protects it from any kind of physical damage or tampering. Ultimately, what this means is that once transferred to the device, your data will be completely secure and inaccessible by anyone who does not know the PIN. Just as long as you don’t make your PIN really easy to guess! (hint: don’t choose your birthday)

3 situations when encryption devices are essential

Encryption devices are not just used by MI5 – they actually have a lot of uses in everyday life by everyone from civil servants to high-flying business executives. In fact, anyone who owns a smartphone and want to keep it secure, just in case someone may be listening in or trying to steal data, will also find encryption devices really useful. Here are just 3 examples of the many situations in which these handy pieces of tech can be invaluable in everyday life:

If you think you're being spied on


If you think someone may be listening to your calls or trying to look at private emails and data, you may not necessarily be being paranoid. Many people report being spied on by their exes, particularly when going through messy divorce proceedings, while many others are uncomfortable with the idea of authorities and security services monitoring the communications of ordinary citizens. Using encryption devices may do nothing but give you peace of mind that you’'ve put up one more wall to prevent this from happening.

However, there is much to be said for this kind of reassurance, especially for businesses that have a lot at stake and plenty of money on the line.

Transporting sensitive business information

Data Breach

If you need to travel to a business meeting and you need to take the data with you, you simply can’t risk it being lost or falling into the wrong hands during the journey. An encryption device is like a portable, secure safe for your data, allowing you to either deliver it personally or even send it to another country through another means. You can also use encryption devices to pass data to your colleagues and business associates, and use it as part of everyday security for sensitive or private data within your business.

Government and other public sector organisations can make excellent use of encryption devices to ensure that data protection and confidentiality laws are respected, as can any other private business which needs to protect its client's’ data as a matter of high importance.

Keeping your mobile phone secure – essential for confidential conversations and emails containing sensitive information

Mobile download

Now that nearly everyone on the planet – or at least the Western world - has a mobile phone, smartphone or tablet, we have all become far more vulnerable to malicious attacks on our personal data. We use our smartphones for absolutely everything in everyday life, including sharing personal details on social media, accessing work emails during our commutes and even doing our banking via supposedly secure apps. We also make private and work-related calls and texts on our phones.

Absolutely all of this vast amount of ‘data’ can be hacked by a determined individual or organisation, and many people don’t even bother with anti-virus software on their phones. They simply buy a device and start sharing and saving all of this personal and confidential information using it. Luckily, there are encryption devices available just for mobile devices.

Many of these offer real-time monitoring on potential threats as well as providing the tools for deep-level analysis so you can make absolutely sure that no intentionally malicious programs, applications or software are running on your device. Individuals can definitely make use of this kind of protection, but it is crucial for businesses that issue employees with company smartphones and tablets.