Thread poster: Irina Kaspirovich

Irina Kaspirovich
United States
Local time: 07:51
New user
French to German
+ ...
Sep 15

Are there some standard things I should learn about encryption to be a translator?
I have read in the forums a lot and came across some posts that mentioned this aspect. I did not come to any conclusion from those posts, though.


Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:51
Member (2015)
English to French
+ ...
Encryption Sep 16

Most translated content is to be considered confidential (as often defined by NDAs or translation agreements) and treated as such, meaning it's good practice to have a security strategy in place. That includes protecting physical access, plus using secure communications, browsing and data storage, along with other aspects, often related to encryption.

If you handle highly confidential information, you'll need to go the extra mile.

You can get inspiration from the Security practices list available here on ProZ: https://www.proz.com/securepro/security-practices/list

So, who can access your computer apart from you? Nobody should be sharing your computer or be able to access your session if you leave it unintended (lock session with password).

What damage can someone do if they intercept your computer or devices? You'll need to take reasonable steps to avoid any related risks. I use full disk encryption on all my devices - including external hard drives - but that, unfortunately, is not standard practice. Working on a PC with GNU/Linux makes this trivial during installation.

What happens if you loose your computer? Are your passwords protected (via a Password manager, which stores your passwords in an encrypted database)? You'll want to have a data protection and data backup plan.

Secure communications (emails, etc.) and browsing are heavily dependent on encryption. I think any Internet/computer user should be acquainted with encryption essentials (like what is HTTPS), and translators are no exception, especially given the confidential nature of most information they come to translate.

Here are two excellent resources to get started (or take it further):

- The Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD) website by the Electronic Frontier Fondation: https://ssd.eff.org/en
- Security in a Box: https://securityinabox.org/en/


Finally, here's a related quote by Julian Assange. The author may be controversial, but his quote is not:

The universe believes in encryption. It is easier to encrypt information than it is to decrypt it.

[Edited at 2018-09-16 11:36 GMT]


Irina Kaspirovich
United States
Local time: 07:51
New user
French to German
+ ...
Thanks for the detailed reply. Sep 16

I do many of those things already, but that gives me more things to read up on.

I have previously used PGP for e-mailing files. I suppose that level of security is not necessary when communicating with customers, though?

[Edited at 2018-09-16 10:32 GMT]


English to Russian
+ ...
fake? protective measures Sep 16

Frankly, after numerous BitLocker/EFS/TrueCrypt disk protection issues, recent WPA2 KRACK-abuses, general Spectre/Meltdown CPU vulnerability, let alone system/apps errs/backdoors and empty/common passwords, I really wonder what does 'encryption' mean.

A secured offline virtual machine with password-protected RAR/GZIP archives makes it a bit more difficult to read my docs, yet even a lame user like me can easily google crackers/exploits to breach this or that set up, alas.

Indeed, it may deter some wannabe teen-hackers, but not persistent and experienced individuals aimed at specific clients/companies/providers. They say that 'defaced' (GDPR-enabled) texts would somewhat garble the info in case of data leakage, yet still...


Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 08:51
Romanian to English
+ ...
encryption Sep 16

Hi Irina,

If you translate sensitive documents for the DHS (FBI,USSS, CIA), IRS, DoD, DOJ it is recommended to send your documents via Zip Secure file, with a password. Some of the above govt.agencies have their own secure platform to download and upload your translation.

Hope it helps,


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