If we even give a cursory look at the news headlines splashing across the newspapers, we would come across high profile incidents of data breach, hacking and spying on computer data every other month. From large companies to even ordinary citizens have become victims of hacking aimed at accessing confidential information and these attacks are today carried out by both state and not state actors. In such a scenario it becomes extremely important for us to securely protect our data through encryption.
When it comes to backing up data in zip files, we typically do not place a password or encrypt them. However if you are looking to backup your critical business data you should enforce strong encryption. To start with you should get hold of a latest version of a zip tool, ideally WinZip that offers multiple encryption options for zip archives. In WinZip you will come across three primary options for enforcing encryption namely, Legacy Encryption which is Zip 2.0 Compatible, 128 bit AES encryption and the most secure 256 bit AES encryption.
If you plan to share the zip archive widely and you do not expect the data to contain extremely confidential information then you can choose Legacy Encryption option while zipping your data. This encryption standard is widely supported by most zip tools and should not cause an issue if the file is opened by someone using a different software. However if security is paramount then you should invariably go for 256 bit AES encryption and choose a strong password which has a combination of alphabets, numbers and a special character.
Security Tips to Keep in Mind while encrypting zip files
While encrypting zip files can prevent them from authorized access to a large extent, they can still be compromised if someone managed to obtain the password. In order to prevent such a scenario ensure that you do not have a keylogger or spyware present in your system as it can save the password when you are typing the same. Use a top of the line antispyware and antivirus tool to avoid such malicious software from compromising your security.
Next you need to know that encryption only prevents that contents of the zip file from being accessed. Other details such as file name, date and time of zip creation can be obtained without zipping the archive. When you are encrypting critical files, it is always ideal to rename them as something innocuous.
Extracting data from a password protected zip archive
Irrespective of the fact whether a zip archive is password protected or not you should be able to retrieve corrupt zip files if you choose to use a powerful zip repair tool like DataNumen Zip Repair. Besides helping you can recover corrupt encrypted zip files, it can also help extract contents from damaged zip files over 4 GB in size. In addition it gives you the option to extract multiple files in one go through its batch recovery option. So if you use zip files to backup your data then it is imperative that you have this versatile application at hand to deal with zip corruption.
Alan Chen is President & Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including zip repair and rar repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com .