Encryption; while it may previously have been something unfamiliar to many, it has now become something more commonly known to most with the emergence of encrypted chats in messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
You may also be aware of the tiny green padlock next to a website’s URL in your address bar which signifies it is a HTTPS website. The green padlock simply represents that traffic to and from the website is encrypted. Encryption means no one else but that website can read any credit card details and/or any passwords you enter there.
However, if you happen to be one of those who still find yourself wondering what exactly is encryption and what it is actually used for (and there is no harm in admitting so!), this guide will introduce you to the basic gist of what encryption is (without those complex terms!), what is it good for and why it is important for the privacy for any regular user.
Encryption, in its simplest definition, is a method used to scramble your plaintext into ciphertext to make it unreadable to snoopers unless they have a ‘key’ to unlock the code.
Data encryption has in fact been around for a long time, longer than you would have probably imagined, since the days of Julius Caesar!
The Caesar cipher is one of the earliest known and simplest ciphers. It was used by Julius Caesar during his reign of the Roman Empire, where he would change the first three letters of the last three, thereby encrypting the message he sent to his generals.
Although there are many types of encryption systems, the most common ones are the use of public and private keys. In this system, all Internet users have two keys; a public one that everyone can see and use, and a private one that only you can use. An alteration made by a mathematical algorithm transforms a message or readable data into a non-readable one. When it is sent to a recipient, it is known to be encrypted, meaning in order to read it a key is needed to decrypt it.
As such, if a cybercriminal succeeds in intercepting one of your messages, they will not be able to read it without your private key.
What are the benefits or encryption for your privacy? Encryption keeps sensitive and personal information secure and private. This includes all online data (such as bank details, emails, and social networks) as well as offline data (such as information stored on hard-drives only you can access).
With this security technique, you will not only prevent identity theft, but in the case of losing a device such as a smartphone, tablet or computer, you can be confident that cyber-criminals will have a tough time to access your data.
Hacking has now become a big business. It may not be what you imagine; a bunch of kids in a dark dingy basement, but actual groups of people making profit out of it.
This is why encryption is a highly effective way of protecting your data.
Fortunately, there is one simple way you can encrypt any of your online browsing activities: a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network will help you channel all your data and web traffic through an encrypted tunnel. When you surf on a VPN connection such as with BolehVPN, no matter if you are on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, BolehVPN will set up a private and secure encrypted connection from your device to the web. This way, even if you may be surfing on public and vulnerable Wifi connections, you will be able to protect your privacy and keep your browsing private with a VPN.