When I think of encryption, I think of scribbled ciphers on loose-leaf paper. Turns out, in terms of computer coding, it’s…basically the same thing. Both circumstances protect information that not just anyone can see by scrambling letters and numbers. There are pros and cons to encrypting files on your computer. Pros, it makes it harder for hackers to gain access to sensitive information. Cons, it also makes it harder for you to gain access to your files should your hardware ever become corrupted. It’s recommended to only encrypt the most sensitive files on your computer. But, how do I encrypt said files? I’m glad you asked, because there’s a handy dandy program called VeraCrypt (previously known as TrueCrypt) that will encrypt the files for you. VeraCrypt is free, open-sourced, and cross-platformed. At one point in this process, you have to choose what encryption algorithm to use. I didn’t know there were encryption algorithms, much less multiple encryption algorithms. LifeHacker.com recommends users to go with AES when using VeraCrypt. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard, and is used by the U.S. government to encrypt files (so you know it’s good). While encryption isn’t foolproof to hackers, it’s one step closer to creating a secure space for files.