Encryption is a way to scramble text so that only the person who knows the secret code, or decryption key, can read it. It helps protect sensitive information like data.
Personal information is managed and stored online, either in the cloud or on servers that are always connected to the web. Your personal information will almost always end up in a company's networked computer system if you do business with them. This is why it's important to know how to help keep that information private.
Encryption changes sensitive, personal data into text or computer code that can't be read. Those who are allowed to see the information can do so with a special encryption key that uses an algorithm to turn the unreadable code back into its original, readable form.
Secure encryption methods turn data into text that is so random that it should be impossible to "decrypt" or open the data without the authorization key. Data can be encrypted when it is being sent to a third party or when it is being stored (in transit encryption).
Encryption keeps information secret at its most basic level. But it also does other things to make sure you can trust data that has been encrypted and decrypted.
Information is encrypted with formulas called encryption algorithms, or ciphers to keep it private. A variable called a key must be used in one part of the algorithm. This makes the output of the algorithm unique, which turns your data into code that can't be read.
If an unauthorized user gets a hold of your encrypted information, they have to either guess the encryption algorithm or the keys that were used as variables. This is a hard problem to solve, which is why encryption is such a good security tool.
A key to encrypting and decrypting data is a string of numbers. Algorithms are used to make encryption keys. Each key is unique and chosen at random.
Symmetric encryption and asymmetric encryption are the two main types of encryption systems. Here are the differences.
Most websites that are safe to use are a type of encryption called "secure sockets layer" (SSL) to protect the information that is sent to and from the site. This makes it hard for attackers to get to the data while it is being sent.
Want to know if a website uses this technology? Look for the lock icon and the "s" in "https://" in the URL bar. If you see these things, you'll know that your online transactions are safe and encrypted.
When you store or send sensitive information online, it's best to use sites that use SSL. If you use the Internet to do things like file your taxes, buy things, renew your driver's license, or take care of other personal business, it's a good idea to visit sites that use SSL.
Even though encryption isn't required yet, it has several important benefits:
Encryption is not a sure thing. Data can still be read by someone who is not authorized to do so in some situations. For instance, when a person who is allowed to use encrypted information leaves a device open and unattended while the information is not encrypted.
It's a big step for your business to use encryption techniques across the board. You need to make sure that:
Encryption is meant to keep your information safe, but it can also be used to hurt you. Targeted ransomware is a type of cybercrime that can affect businesses and government offices of all sizes. Ransomware can also go after specific people who use computers. How do attacks with ransomware happen? Attackers use ransomware to encrypt the devices of their victims, like their computers and servers. Before giving the key to decrypt the encrypted data, the attackers often want to be paid a ransom. The goal is to get people to pay so they can get back to their important files, data, video, and pictures.
Ransomware attacks on government agencies can shut down services, making it hard to get a permit, get a marriage license, or pay a tax bill, for example. Most of the news about ransomware attacks is about attacks on big companies and government agencies. But you could also be hit by ransomware.
Here are some tips to help you keep your devices safe from ransomware attacks and the risk that your data will be encrypted and you won't be able to get to it.
There are a few different approaches of encryption that are believed to be reliable. However, the Advanced Encryption Standard, more often referred to as AES, is a popular option among individuals who want to safeguard both their data and their communications. Since 2002, this kind of encryption has been considered to be the standard by the United States government. AES is used on a global scale.
Some examples of common uses of encryption are: