Encryption is used to transform data and hide its contents. It uses mathematical algorithms to transform data into an unreadable format. The main purpose of encryption is to protect data from unauthorised access. Encryption can be and should be used by everyone.
Encryption has long been used by militaries and governments to facilitate secret communication. Encryption is now commonly used in protecting information within many kinds of civilian systems.
Encryption can also be used to protect data "at rest", such as files on computers and storage devices (e.g. USB flash drives). In recent years there have been numerous reports of confidential data such as customers' personal records being exposed through loss or theft of laptops or backup drives. Encrypting such files at rest helps protect them should physical security measures fail.
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