In this day and age, when computers, smart phones and other digital equipment have become part of our every day lives, it is important more than ever before to take security of personal and sensitive information seriously. Steps taken for securing information is not only for govenment, military and financial insitutions only but us, every day individuals as well.
Every one of us uses encryption directly or indirectly in our daily lives already whether we realize it or not, but it's time to go further and secure some of our personal data by encrypting it or use services that provide encryption. If you have ever stored a password in a text file, have a backup usb key or hard drive that contains family photos or business documents, then you must really think of encryption and the benefits of securing the information that you feel noone but you should have access to.
Encryption is a process of converting data so that only authorized parties could decrypt and view it. In simple terms, text and documents will become jibberish, the images won't be viewable and any other file would just not work.
Some of the most practical uses of encryption include saving your passwords, and sensitive login information using software that uses encryption, like password managers discussed bellow. Storing passwords and important sensitive information in plain text of word documents is dangerous because an attacker who gains access to your computer could easily view it.
Example of indirect use of encryption is when you visit a website that has https as part of it's url instead of http. This means that all communication between your browser and the website that you are connecting to is secure and encrypted. This ensures that noone can see your login information when you submit it to the site.
Decryption is the reverse process of encryption. During decryption the data that was encrypted is transformed into original data that makes sense, is sueful and readable. Only authorized parties should be able to decrypt data.
Absolutely not! Like we already mentioned, we all use encryption every day without even realizing it, but it's also easy to use encryption where it's necessary. Here are some of the most common uses of encryption for general users:
When was the last time you wrote down your login information in a plai text file like untitled.txt? Or maybe you store all your account login information in a word document? It's time to take your passwod and data security seriously and start using password managers that use strong encryption algorythms. There are a number of good ones out there:
We all use usb keys and external hard drives to move data around, it only makes sense to encrypt these drives and ensure that noone will be able to understand or use the content of these devices regardless of them being lost or stolen. There are a number of horror stories associated with lost usb keys and stollen hard drives that contained important personal information that attacker could abuse. Read more about these stories in our stories section.
With popularity of remote "cloud" backups, and services like Dropbox, more and more people chose to have another copy of their backup data elsewhere. This is very convenient, but can you trust a third party company with your personal files? Furthermore, can you trust that they will not have a data breach and data taken away? It's very important to consider encrypting all remote backups and we are happy to show you how easy it can be!
Data needs to be secure not only while stored but during transmission too. Learning and choosing to use secure, encrypted file tranfer protocols pays off in security and peace of mind. Take a look at comparison here
Email can contain some of the most important personal information. Choosing encrypted email providers can help add an extra layer of security to your communications. A good example is proton mail
Message encryption does not have to stop at email. If you often use messaging as a way of communication, encrypted messaging can protect sensitive information and possibility of a attacker gaining knowledge of your correspondence.
Start using encryption and take security and privacy seriously. On top of that, you can introduce your friends and family to encryption. One easy way is to so mething diffferent this Christmas season. For example, if you are going to a white elephant party this winter, you can get an encrypted usb keychain as a gift. Unlike typical white elephant gifts, an decryption service or a encrypted device will not only be a host swap item, but also educational!
If you need help or have questions regarding encryption, join our community forum or send us a direct message with your questions. We love helping and look forward to hearing from you!