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A Lesson in Encryption

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One of the qualities that distinguishes Linux from lesser operating systems is its superior support for your privacy and security. That means more than avoiding buggy virus-propagating applications, such as Microsoft's Outlook and Internet Explorer. Savvy people and organizations quite rightly want to protect their data files and e-mail from snooping eyes. One way to do so is by keeping important files in coded form, a practice known as encryption.

Don't think encryption is only for secret agents or computer gurus with ponytails down to the waist and witty t-shirts from Putting an ordinary file on a PC is like leaving a letter face up on a desk. It's in plain view for anyone who passes by. Encryption is practical for ordinary people who want to keep their data private when they put it on a PC. It effectively puts that letter into a strong sealed envelope. You can do it, and it's an important ability to have.

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