With encryption software, no one but you and your intended recipient can read your e-mail messages, text messages, instant messages, etc. You can even encrypt your entire hard disk to protect everything on your PC from prying eyes.
Occasionally I encounter naysayers who tell me I’m wrong. “The FBI, CIA, or NSA can unlock any type of encryption,” they say. “Relying on encryption just raises your profile.”
I’m not a computer expert, and I certainly don’t know what capabilities the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies have to decrypt encrypted information. But in at least one case, even the FBI couldn’t decipher data on a PC protected by an encryption program called “TrueCrypt.”
In July 2008, Brazilian federal police seized a computer owned by a banker named Daniel Dantas. The seizure occurred in connection with Dantas’ arrest for money laundering, tax evasion and racketeering.