Data breaches are on a continuous rise, and the situation has taken a wrong turn during the pandemic. The digital communities had to tackle more cyber threats than ever before. Additionally, many perpetrators maliciously exploited the COVID-19 situation. However, for most, technology had been the saving grace. The silver lining is that many companies and users had a way of working, communicating, and entertaining themselves.
Data encryption translates data into a code, limiting access to only those who possess the necessary decryption key. Creating ciphertext or encrypted data is the most widely used data security technique. The attackers won’t be able to comprehend the encrypted data if it has been transformed into ciphertext.
Data encryption, therefore, protects our data from cybercriminals by making it impossible for them to decipher. Only the intended recipients can decrypt the information. Thus, when possible, companies and netizens should opt for alternatives that promise to encrypt information. For instance, an instant messaging app should protect your messages with friends. In the best scenario, it supports end-to-end encryption, which protects the data even from the app owners.
It’s Widely Available
These days, almost every digital device has some encryption technology embedded in it. You have entire volumes of your hard disk encrypted by the BitLocker program used by Microsoft Windows. You must have also noticed many apps declaring that all “all messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted,” ensuring that anyone outside the chat can’t read or listen to the messages exchanged.
While there are encryption programs you can download for free, iPhones and Android phones feature built-in encryption. Some of the popular free encryption programs are LastPass, a freemium password manager encrypting passwords stored.
Remote Workers find Protection with Encryption
Many managers believe that those working remotely have a higher risk of falling victim to scams or other attacks. It is because many of the remote workers store sensitive data on their devices, and the companies can do very little to decide how the data is accessed or shared.
Additionally, employees at the office can always consult their colleagues and cybersecurity experts. If the necessity comes, they can report on suspicious behavior or share information on other risk factors they notice.
Encryption Builds Consumer Trust
The laws of the land don’t make it compulsory for companies to encrypt data. However, to gain the trust of consumers, they may opt to have encryption done. Consumers shall find relief in the knowledge that their data is well protected.
The Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust (2019) found that 53% of the respondents said that they were more concerned about their privacy online than they were a year back. Such erosion of trust has created a situation where highlighting that customer data is encrypted is sure to give businesses a competitive edge.
People might leave apps they have been using for years if they find better alternatives. And, in many cases, modern netizens are now looking for ways to protect their identities and data. Even a minor setback might urge consumers to look the other way. For instance, WhatsApp lost thousands of users after its mishap with data collection and sharing with Facebook.
Encryption Increases Data Integrity
Encryption ensures the integrity of our data. It prevents anyone from modifying or stealing the data we exchange. It is no wonder that all digital activities should happen on HTTPS websites as opposed to unsecured HTTP ones. However, you can actually go a step further and encrypt your entire internet traffic. It means that not only your web activities will be secured, but every digital step you take.
With incidents of data breaches rising steadily over the years, we should be ever more conscious of our online security. There may be pressing occasions when you need to use shared Wi-Fi, especially while traveling. It leaves you even more vulnerable to data breaches by hackers.
In both these situations, the solution is a Virtual Private Network. VPN encryption is responsible for keeping your entire internet traffic encrypted and secure. It prevents snoopers, marketers, ISPs, and cybercriminals from obtaining or changing the content you exchange. Additionally, it offers this security on any network: be it a free Wi-Fi hotspot or the one you have carefully set up at home.
Opposers of encryption
Encryption is a powerful tool for defending both business and personal operations. Thousands of companies use it to protect the data of their employees and customers. Netizens themselves take advantage of it for protecting their data or evading the big-tech’s all-seeing eyes. Thus, it brings many benefits, and experts continue to push for more applications of robust encryption.
However, encryption, especially end-to-end encryption, might not be everyone’s cup of tea. In the past, cryptography and complex data ciphers were only used by governments and spies. Only recently did encryption become a standard, a widespread technique.
Many law enforcement agencies and governments fear that encryption might help criminals and other malicious individuals conduct illegal behavior. According to them, all encryption needs backdoors. In other words, each encrypted data should be reversible into its original form. Such requirements might sound fair.
For instance, governments could request to decrypt certain communications involved in crimes. However, backdoors are essentially vulnerabilities that could be exploited by other parties as well. If governments or law enforcement agencies had the tools for decrypting encrypted data, they would become primary targets of criminals. Thus, by weakening encryption, we open new attack routes that could render encryption futile.
Businesses and individuals are adopting data encryption to protect themselves against hackers, government agencies, and eavesdroppers. Encryption prevents access to sensitive data by making sure that only those with the decryption key can decipher the information. Data encryption has gained immense popularity over the past decade.
Thus, you should always be certain of the way your data is managed, stored, or sent over the internet. Just like users expect their passwords to be hashed, they also hope that their data will be properly encrypted. After all, no one wants to have their data exposed in plaintext. That is exactly what consumers and businesses hope to prevent.