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Encryption

The Encrypting File System (EFS) provides the core file encryption technology used to store encrypted files on NTFS volumes. When a file is encrypted, the data stored on the hard disk is scrambled in a very secure way. Encryption is transparent to the user who encrypted the file; you do not have to "decrypt" an encrypted file before you can use it. You can work with an encrypted file just as you would any other file; you can open and change the file as necessary. However, any other user or an intruder who tries to access your encrypted files is prevented from doing so. Only the original owner and the computer's designated recovery agent can get into encrypted files. Anyone else receives an Access Denied message when trying to open or copy your encrypted file.

Folders can be marked as encrypted, too. This means that any file created in or copied to an encrypted folder is automatically encrypted. The folder itself isn't encrypted, though. Anyone with the proper file access permissions can see the names of the files in it.


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