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Windows 7 Home Premium - how to encrypt my hard drive?
05-01-2016, 02:55 AM
Post: #1
Windows 7 Home Premium - how to encrypt my hard drive?
I've had my part time home business since 2006 and suddenly a client wants us to sign a HIPPA privacy agreement saying, among other things, that we won't disclose confidential info about the people whose documents we handle, AND that our computer will be encrypted.

I have this Windows 7 PC and googled just now, but apparently Microsoft only does this on certain operating system versions of Windows 7, and not mine.

Is there some inexpensive yet reliable software that can do this for me, quickly and easily, and not trash my PC?

Thanks.
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05-01-2016, 09:57 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2016 10:02 PM by Golempie.)
Post: #2
RE: Windows 7 Home Premium - how to encrypt my hard drive?
You can use Veracrypt, its free.
But you have to think about what you gonna encrypt ?
The whole Windows-system and documents aka the whole Harddisk.
Or just the documents you handle for others.

With VeraCrypt you can:
Make a encrypted container that can be opened with a password. Every document in that container is encrypted.
Or a system-encryption

Or Axcrypt for individual files/folders.

Or use microsofts EFS to encrypt all files in a folder, its less secure than Veracrypt or Axcrypt.

Take some time to think about exactly you want to encrypt and make backups before you try.

btw is that client gonna pay more money to compensate the extra time or money you put into this ? Wink
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05-02-2016, 04:29 AM
Post: #3
RE: Windows 7 Home Premium - how to encrypt my hard drive?
(05-01-2016 09:57 PM)Golempie Wrote:  You can use Veracrypt, its free.
But you have to think about what you gonna encrypt ?
The whole Windows-system and documents aka the whole Harddisk.
Or just the documents you handle for others.

Exactly, and I'm not sure. I've heard in the past, that encryption slows a PC down, as it processes things, and can actually accidentally trash a hard drive. Not sure if that latter one is still true, but we cant afford the chance. AND I use Carbonite here, for backup, which I think has encryption of its own, so that might even conflict, OR it wouldn't be able to backup right?

Quote:With VeraCrypt you can:
Make a encrypted container that can be opened with a password. Every document in that container is encrypted.
Or a system-encryption

Or Axcrypt for individual files/folders.

Or use microsofts EFS to encrypt all files in a folder, its less secure than Veracrypt or Axcrypt.

Take some time to think about exactly you want to encrypt and make backups before you try.

Thanks.

Quote:btw is that client gonna pay more money to compensate the extra time or money you put into this ? Wink

LOL. Of COURSE NOT. All I get out of it, is that they will continue to be my client. And this isn't top secret government stuff. I'm handling documents that are filed in the courts and are therefore PUBLIC INFORMATION. So why do they have to worry about HIPPA compliance and shift regulatory burdens on us?!

Last night, I emailed them back that essentially we'd hate to lose them as clients but we cant afford the regulatory burdens of compliance, like big corporations can, and then I pointed out the advantages of using us, instead of big corporations. Don't know if it will work or not.

But I'm really sick of all the government BS, everyone having to CYA with it, etc. One example was that I heard that regulatory compliance with government regulations is now causing every employer around $12,000 a YEAR PER EMPLOYEE in JUST regulatory burden! That HAS to discourage the job market!

As a tiny part time home business, we simply cant afford that, so we haven't expanded and haven't hired employees.

If they keep growing government and shrinking the private sector, we're gonna wind up like Greece.
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05-03-2016, 11:06 PM
Post: #4
RE: Windows 7 Home Premium - how to encrypt my hard drive?
Yes, encryption will slow down the pc. How much slower depends on the specifications of your PC.
If you have an PC thats not more than 5 years old (like me) the slowdown is hardly noticeable.
The time that encryption can crash you system is long gone. No risk there.
Just try Veracrypt and make for example a 10 GB container, put some testfiles in it and just try it.
Dont want it, just uninstall and delete container. No harm done.
But be aware, if you lose the password there is no way you can get files back.

Did some reading about Carbonite, its online backup service that uses encryption before
sending files to internet storage servers.
There shouldnt be a problem making a backup of encrypted files with Carbonite.
Maybe even better, that way Carbonite wont be able to access your files too.

Backing up a VeraCrypt-container to Carbonite isnt handy i think. You have to backup
the whole 10 GB (testcase) , even when you only have 1 small document in that container.

I think that using a online backup service like Carbonite can be dangerous.
If something happens to Carbonite you cant access you backups. Nothing you can do.
(it has happened before)
I would make sure to have an extra backup on a external harddisk.
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05-04-2016, 02:49 AM
Post: #5
RE: Windows 7 Home Premium - how to encrypt my hard drive?
This is a potential nightmare. Something else that I didn't even mention was that their agreement says that if I disclose info that I could easily disclose in the course of my work for them, they can sue me too. I'm just going to have to decline this, with them, and lose them as a client. Thanks guys.
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05-05-2016, 04:33 AM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2016 04:38 AM by Golempie.)
Post: #6
RE: Windows 7 Home Premium - how to encrypt my hard drive?
Im not a lawyer, but it seems to be a very 1-sided/unfair contract, they get all the benefits you get the trouble
and no extra money for a high risk.
How about you point that out to your (ex)client ? Did already react to your mail ?
Maybe a new contract that says you do a best effort to protect info of client, which you already did.
Ah well, better to lose a client than gaining a lot of trouble.
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