Quantum physics: friend or foe?

Pirates and spammers beware, there’s been a new breakthrough in information encryption. Researchers of the University of Queensland and the Australian National University have been awarded the prestigious Eureka 2006 Scientific Research award for their use of quantum physics to encrypt information. Their research consists of using “laser beams to generate entangled photons” thus making it virtually impossible to mess with the transmission of information. According to the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes press release however “quantum computers could also crack the mathematically-based codes we rely on for personal and commercial security on the web”. So much for user privacy.

We’re not there yet however, and it’ll surely be ages before we get any closer to home-owned quantum-powered PCs. Most programs available to protect your data consist of solid yet not totally invincible, 128 or 256KB AES encryption. There’s a good number of applications you can find on Softonic to keep your precious files from prying eyes. AxCrypt is a quick encryptor/decryptor for your files, while Cryptic Disk handles your hard drive and disk partitions. It’s a good idea to make a backup encrypted copy of your files once in a while.

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