What is Encryption and Decryption

Introduction

Encryption is a technique for taking information such as a message or file and making it secret. Decryption takes the secret information and makes it readable again. The file or message is hidden with a password and can only be decrypted with the password that was used to encrypt it; if the wrong password is used then the message is still unreadable.

How can I use Encryption?

Most people use encryption everyday without ever realizing it. For example, anytime you perform a banking transaction or talk on a cell phone you are using encryption. InfoFind will allow you to encrypt any file on your computer or any text message. This can be useful if you want to keep messages or files private so that only you can read them. A great use of encryption for personal use is in making computer backups. If you store information such as photos, letters, or documents on your computer then it is a good idea to back them up. Computers do not last forever and can sometimes malfunction. Without a backup your files would be lost. But if you have a backup then you can always save your information to another computer. Computer backups can be made by copying important files to a CD or DVD. If you do this though then you may want the files encrypted so that someone else cannot find out all of your personal information. InfoFind is perfect for this because it is easy to use and works with all versions of Windows. When entering a password you should enter one that someone cannot easily guess but that you can remember. For example, if you use your name or a common dictionary word then someone can easily guess the password, but if you use a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers then it makes it very hard for someone to guess the password.

Brief History of Encryption

Encryption is based on the science of cryptography and has been around for thousands of years. The root of the word encryption "crypt" derives from the Greek word kryptos, which means hidden. The earliest know use of encryption is from the Ancient Egyptians’ when non-standard hieroglyphs were carved into a monument. This is not known to be an attempt at secret communications, but rather for amusement or mystery. Around 2500 Years ago Hebrew scribes would use simple encryption when writing the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Ancient Greeks used encryption on scrolls around 400 BC during war to communicate secret messages across the battle field. Roman Emperor Julius Caesar used a method of encryption know as the Caesar Cipher to communicate with his Army. This is one of the most well know and popular methods of encryption in history. It is very simple and involves changing the letters by moving them by a fixed number. For example moving the letters by 3 (as Caesar did) A would become D, B would become E, and so on. This method is not secure today but in Caesar's time his enemies could not read Latin, few people could read, and those who could read would have had a hard time understanding that you can make a message secret. Since then encryption has become much more complex and with the invention of computers and modern technology it is now widely used in everyday life. The picture below is of an American Civil War Cipher Disk. They were used during the American Civil War (1861–1865) to transmit secret messages. The icon that InfoFind uses in all Encryption Forms represents this device.

American Civil War Cipher Disk

Advantages of using InfoFind's Encryption

Encryption programs are often very difficult to use and do not work with all files or on all computers. InfoFind has been made to be as easy to use and as friendly as possible so that you can start encrypting files and messages without any help. Because InfoFind works on all versions of Windows files can be encrypted on one computer and decrypted on a completely different computer. For example, someone might encrypt a file on an old Windows 95 computer and then want to decrypt it on Windows Vista. Most encryption programs do not allow this, but InfoFind does. Also, most encryption programs do not handle files larger then 2 GB, encrypt the file name, or provide options for how to process files. InfoFind can work work with files of any size, encrypt file and folder names, and provides many options in an easy to use program.

How strong is InfoFind's Encryption?

Before InfoFind encrypts a file it creates a "Key" from the password. Each Key creates a different secret file and there are 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 (2^64) possible keys. For a someone to check all of the possible keys it would take a PC many years to do this. However, the security is only as good as the password you enter. If you use a short password or a dictionary word then an automated program could quickly decrypt the file. Financial Transactions are actually done with much stronger encryption (2^128 and higher) and in theory, encryption of that strength can not be broken with the computers that we use today. However InfoFind and other programs of the same encryption strength are strong enough for most people's personal needs.

Technical Details of InfoFind's Encryption

Note - This information is technical and will probably only be understood by someone who is knowledgeable on cryptography. InfoFind uses a 64-bit symmetric stream cipher algorithm named CS1. The algorithm CS1 is named after its author. The source code for InfoFind's encryption algorithm has been released into public domain and can be downloaded from this site.

Encrypting with InfoFind

File Encryption
Text Encryption