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Hard drive encryption is a technology that employes sophisticated mathematical functions to convert data stored on a hard drive into a form that is not recognizable to unauthorized persons. Without an appropriate key or password, the data cannot be read. Hard drive encryption provides protection against hackers and other online threats.
Specialized software is used to encrypt the data written to the hard drive. When a file is read, it must be decrypted by the software while leaving all the other data on the drive encrypted. The encryption/decryption process does not affect other applications or programs. The encryption/decryption process is invisible to the user, although it may cause the computer's processing times to be slower.