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Protecting Your File Encryption Key

Sunday, March 1st, 2009 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management

Protecting Your File Encryption Key

Did you know that Windows Vista includes a file encryption technology that’s very similar to the one in Windows XP? Well, it does and Vista even makes it easier to make a backup of your file encryption key. In XP, your encrypted files would be lost if you changed your password, but in Vista, an encryption key is used to sign your encrypted files, which also means it can be backed up. It’s critically important for you to create a backup of your encryption key if you decide to use the encryption features. Luckily, Vista reminds you of that immediately after the first time you encrypt a file. Let’s check it out!

To use the wizard to back up your encryption key, just click on the pop up notification when it shows up in your taskbar.

Select Back Up Now from the wizard screen and then hit Next.

On the next screen, you’ll need to enter in a password for your key. The password will be used if you try to restore the encryption key later on. Make sure you choose a secure password and make sure it’s also something you’ll remember easily.

On the next screen, you can enter in a file name or you can click on the Browse button to choose a folder location. (It was easier for me to click on Browse). Then type in the file name you want.

Hit Next and then Finish. You should now see that the export was successful!

Now, it’s very important to back the file up and put it somewhere very safe. A spare USB drive wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Stay safe, my friends!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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