Encryption

A lot of people might have not heard of encryption before but before we go any further, I would want to give a definition of encryption

“…encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it. Encryption does not of itself prevent interception, but denies the message content to the interceptor.” – Wikipedia

In simpler terms, encryption puts a simple message into a string of codes that only people who are allowed to see it can see it. Those codes are often random characters in one string which can vary from short to long strings. Encryption is the process of locking data and decryption is how you unlock the encrypted data. Cracking, on the other hand, is simply ‘cracking the code’ or forcing to see what an encrypted data is using methods that would allow an unauthorized party to see an encrypted message.

Encryption has a massive role in modern day society from online purchases to matters of national security. Encryption protects sensitive data such as personal information, trade secrets, bank account numbers and passwords. Not only that but it protects physical devices too from baby monitors to surveillance cameras from people who would want to gather that data and use it for unsavory purposes.

Algorithm is very important on the process of encryption. The more complex the algorithm, the harder it is to break the code. Over the years, cryptographers have created harder and more complex algorithms to prevent information security breaches from those who have tried and successfully broken their codes. As the number of attempts get higher each day, more and better codes come into development.

How can we use encryption to our advantage? If you happen to own an Android mobile phone, encryption can be set up on your device and can be decrypted using a passphrase or a PIN entry code. Or, you may also download encryption apps from trusted sources to your phone so file encryption can take place. If you are a PC user, Windows and Linux have been the preferred platforms of so many Freeware (free software) and Open Source programs that support disk, email and file encryption. For disk encryption, I highly recommend VeraCrypt and for E-mail encryption, GNU Privacy Guard is what I would most likely suggest. I would also note that encryption has a learning curve that can be overwhelming at first for non-experienced users or those who only know the basics of computers but it in the end, it will eventually be worth it if data security is a big deal for you. I am sorry I cannot provide assistance or suggestions to Apple or Macintosh users as I never really used nor patronized Apple products.

Besides psychology, I am a cyber and computer security enthusiast. I like the feeling of security and safety that’s why I highly advocate physical security AND information security in the same light because stolen data can mean disaster. If personally identifiable information such as your full name, contacts (emails, phone numbers, usernames, etc.) and bank account numbers fall into the wrong hands then you might suddenly find purchases you never made in your credit card bill. No one wants that to happen so I would like for people, as much as possible, to protect their own data so nothing bad can happen that would be too much of an expense.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please let me know at the comments below so I can try and help you with the best of my abilities. 🙂

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