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In Windows Vista Essential Training , instructor Jeff Van West offers comprehensive guidance through the often-daunting task of upgrading Windows system software. After discussing Vista's many new features and demonstrating the initial installation, Jeff explains how to run older software, customize settings and the desktop, and troubleshoot along the way. The tutorials also cover the ins and outs of taking Vista on the road for portable computing, from setting up security to working with all types of media and optimizing performance. Exercise files accompany the training.
The files on your computer are protected by your password, but as you have seen, anyone else on the computer with administrator powers can kind of get around that, because they can get to anyone's files. Furthermore, if someone were to get their hands on your computer even without an administrator password, it's not that difficult to crack in, if you know what you're doing and see the files on a computer. The difficulty comes if you don't have a password and the file is encrypted. Then it takes some fairly sophisticated work to be able to get inside and see the file.
It's as if your file is sort of protected by this force field, and you can't get past the outside and go in. If you want that kind of protection for your files, it's very easy to do. Actually it's just sort of an attribute of the file. Let's suppose on my magazine, I don't want anyone to see the administrative stuff, all these Excel spreadsheets. So I am going to right-click on them, I am going to go to Properties and right in Advanced, this is where we were able to compress files. We compressed some of our archives. Now I'm going to check for encrypt to secure data and hit OK and OK.
Now, do I really want to apply these changes? It's applied to the folder, subfolders, and files. Yeah. I want to encrypt everything and it's just applying an attribute, no big deal. Now the warning. You see Back up your file encryption key. This happens once and only once. You get one shot at it. Realize that without some system to decrypt the files, these files are unreadable by anybody. It doesn't matter who it is. So the first time you encrypt your files you want to go ahead and find a place to back up the encryption key.
We will just go ahead and click right on that. We are going to get the wizard. It says Back up right now, Back up later, and Windows can remind me, or Never back up. Just realized that if anything happens to your computer and these files get recovered off the hard drive with some data recovery and you don't have the key to decrypt those files, then you are stuck. You can't work without it. The same thing would be true if you lost your user password and you hadn't gotten your user password somehow. Someone got the files back, but all the files were encrypted, because you're not viewing them from your user account, you can't get in without this key.
So we will back up now and basically we're just going to go ahead and hit Next, for everything. The default's just fine. You need a password for this. I recommend you use the same password you've been using for your account and we will give it a name. I want to store it somewhere other than this computer just to make sure that I have the key somewhere else, because realize it could be because the computer crashed and there was disc damage and I had to recover some of these files.
I want to have this encryption key and it's a good idea to you have it in a couple places. Temporarily, I am just going to put it onto my flash key that I keep a whole bunch of stuff on, and we will call the file Jeff's Encrypt Key. That's fine. Put it on card and Save, Next, Finish and that's it. While we were doing that, the encryption has all completed and you'll see that administrative now is in green. Now what's the deal with that? That means that these files are encrypted, and if I double-click, you will see that everything inside also got encrypted.
Now unlike the compressed file, if I add something to an encrypted folder, the latest e-blast here, and then I go and look at it, it became encrypted by being put in the encrypted folder. That's not true something with that's compressed. If I take it back out now, I want to go back up to the IFR magazine level and look at that. It's stayed encrypted. It did not become unencrypted. So the only way that this file will become unencrypted is if I take it and I put it onto, copy onto a non-NTFS, NT File System disk and most of the computers that are shipping these days are NTFS. It's a more robust file system, but some older Windows machines have what's known as the FAT32 system.
It's a different system for how the information is stored on the hard drive. That will unencrypt the file. Sending it over to a Macintosh. That will also unencrypt the file. Sending it as an email attachment. That will unencrypt the file. Now there is nothing special about the file in terms of using it. I can open up the file just fine, double-click, there is Office Word. Ta-da. I can make changes. I could save it. To me it makes no difference, but if I were to log off and log on even as an administrator and try and get to file, I wouldn't be able to. Only Jeff Van West can get to that file now.
Unless I right-click on it, Properties, Advanced, Uncheck encrypt data, OK and now it's back to black. So that's really all there is to it. There is something on this computer called BitLocker Drive Encryption, but I can't show it to you. Why? Because it won't work on this machine. Let me just type here for a second. It's the easiest way to do it. BitLocker Drive Encryption. It's going to ask for a password. And you will see not going to happen, for two reasons.
One, BitLocker Drive Encryption requires there to be a special partition on your hard drive, a small partition at the very beginning of the drive that's not encrypted and then the entire hard drive after that is encrypted. The other thing is the hard drive or the computer has to have a special digital module on it that allows the computer, it's like the key to the whole thing, to encrypt and unencrypt. So I can't show you that here. Just know that it exists. If that's something that's important to you, if you have billion dollar secrets cruising around in your laptop, well, then you probably have an IT staff who can have you do this, but this is built into Windows to encrypt absolutely everything, the entire hard drive, for the ultimate in Windows security.
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