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You Are Being Watched! Have You Heard About Data Encryption?

March 10, 2017 |
data encryption

Imagine you’re being under the watchful eyes of someone round the clock. Sounds creepy right? But unfortunately, it’s true. Government across the globe keep an eye on you 24 X 7. Their intention is to protect you from international or domestic terrorism threats. However, the monitoring involves human involvement and thus it open doors for inappropriate use of this data. Not just the government, any individual with technical hacking abilities can also monitor your activities and breach your privacy. On a higher level, companies can lose millions and billions of dollars worth of information. It happens every single day but most of us are unaware about how data encryption works and protects our information. This article is an attempt to explain everything you need to know about Data Encryption.

First Things First, Why Is Data Encryption So Important?

Consider a system is password protected and there is only one user with no unauthorized access. You may think that even if someone gains unauthorized access to the system, they cannot access your data as it is password protected. But, they can simply factory reset the system and gain access. The primary objective of data encryption is to protect your data even if someone gets unauthorized access to it.

This is just for files. What about the private and confidential data that you share through emails, messages and various personal messenger services? There is something known as end-to-end encryption which is used by popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook to protect personal data.

What is End-to-End Encryption?

End-to-End encryption (E2EE) is a method in which the parties involved in communication are the only ones who can understand the delivered message. No one else can decode the message. Not even their ISP, telecom provider or even the app owners themselves. This type of encryption allows only the communicating parties to decode the message and hence provides absolute privacy and safety.

How Does End-to-End Encryption Works?

There is a specific way of securely exchanging keys over a public network commonly known as Diffie–Hellman key exchange. Let’s understand this with a simple example.

Let’s say Tom texts his girlfriend, Julie. When Tom sends the message to Julie the message has a private key which gets mixed with a public key while sending the message. Now when Julie receives the message she combines her private key so that she can read the message. The private keys are only available with Tom and Julie. So, they are the only one who can decode the message.

What Are Public & Private Keys?

As the name suggests, a Public Key is of course public. That means it’s readily available to everyone with directory presence. The Private Key, however, belongs to only the owner. Because of its mathematical and complex nature, the encrypted data using a public key may only be decrypted by a compatible Private Key and vice versa.

Why Does This Matter?

In today’s world, information matters. There are a lot of people who can misuse your information to get personal benefits. Governments can use information to protect the citizens or spy on them. Companies can use information to feature advertisements based on user behavior. The more the casual users produce information, the more susceptible we become to these entities.

It also matters because we need to protect our online privacy. You might think that what’s the big deal in opening your data to anyone, but it really is. Online security isn’t limited to emails or text messages, it is related to supercritical aspects like your banking, financial, and medical records. This is sensitive data and if it falls into the wrong hands, it can cause you some serious damage.

Moreover, let’s admit, we all have some or the other thing to hide. The real aim of encryption is to protect the privacy of people. If privacy is absent, democracy and good governance will become nonexistent.

We don’t live in a fairy tale world filled with all the good stuff. There are so many people waiting to get their hands on your private information and misuse it for their own benefits. Thus, data encryption becomes extremely crucial even though it sounds complicated. Talk to our team of web experts to know more about data encryption or any other website requirements.

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