Encrypting the Home directory and other data on Linux is very simple. You can do that during the installation, or whenever using the distribution.
Although useful, encrypting Linux data isn't always a good idea. Certainly this sounds safe, so why is encrypting the Linux drive such a bad idea? Let's look at why you should encrypt your Linux HDD and why you should be looking for an alternative.
Why should you encrypt Linux partitions?
- Should Linux partition encryption?
- 4 reasons to encrypt Linux drives [ul]
- 1. Protect personal data from loss or theft
- 2. Prevent theft of sensitive corporate data
- 3. Prevent remote monitoring
- 4. Protect sensitive data from third parties
Should Linux partition encryption?
Most Linux distributions make it easy to encrypt the home directory or even the entire partition without much problem. This is a great option if you need your data to be encrypted. In most cases, all you need to do is check a box and Linux will take care of the rest.
Unfortunately, some people choose this option simply because it sounds like a good option. While this is clearly true, they may not have thought (or may not know) yet about the consequences of this. Indeed, some people don't even know what encryption really is. They just know it's a secure option. Lack of this technology can lead to the benefits of drive encryption being overstated, while deficiencies are overlooked.
It would be smarter to be aware of everything before making a decision to change the contents of the hard drive.
The reasons for encrypting Linux drives include:
- Protects personal data from loss or theft
- Prevent theft of sensitive corporate data
- Prevent remote monitoring
- Protect sensitive data from third parties
Meanwhile, some of the negative consequences of drive encryption are:
- Makes data recovery more difficult
- A full system recovery is almost impossible
- Affect system performance
Let's explore all of these in more detail in the section below.
4 reasons to encrypt Linux drives
The article will begin with the reasons why should immediately encrypt Linux data. These can be specific files, one or more partitions, or even an entire drive.
1. Protect personal data from loss or theft
For standard users, especially laptop owners, this is the point. You don't want to risk your personal data or there's the possibility that someone will gain access to your email and cloud accounts, if your device is stolen.
Encrypting the hard drive will block access to these items. Whether files, partitions or entire disks are encrypted, their contents will be meaningless to anyone without an encryption key.
2. Prevent theft of sensitive corporate data
Likewise, if you use your computer for work, encryption is a smart choice. Whether it's a laptop or a desktop computer, the device should have encryption enabled. The importance of this can affect the industry in which you are working (for example, protecting patient data in healthcare).
However, it's smart to only use encryption at work. Protecting data from corporate spies or Whaling Attack attacks is a smart move.
3. Prevent remote monitoring
Encrypting the entire Linux system drive can also prevent remote monitoring. A hacker with access to the computer will not be able to read the encrypted data. Someone in charge of data monitoring won't be able to open your files.
4. Protect sensitive data from third parties
If you manage data for someone else (whether it's a customer or anyone else), encrypting the drive is wise. Encryption helps protect your data from risk, and helps you get out of trouble if it gets lost or stolen.
Remember that if the data is still encrypted, it cannot be read in secret. Except for the very rare possibility that the encryption function is corrupted, the data is not necessarily secure.
Arguments against encrypting Linux drives
Encrypting the drive is a great idea, but make sure you understand and fully understand what it means. In the article: 4 reasons why should not encrypt Linux partitions Make tech easier made clear why encryption should not always be used.
As always, the choice is entirely up to you. If you feel that you need to encrypt the entire Home folder or even the entire partition, do so, as long as you're still aware of what to face in case something goes wrong.
On the other hand, if you want to leave the drive unencrypted and secure your data in other ways, you can do the same. Just make sure your data is safe as promised.
If you decide to choose encryption, here's how to encrypt your personal data on Linux.
Hope you are succesful!