While data encryption sounds like a complex concept, it’s actually something that many people use regularly. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be technically inclined, data encryption is still part of your digital world. How? It’s a feature that helps protect your data when you’re performing an online search or engaged in other normal, everyday practices. This can include shopping online and reading an email from your mobile device or desktop computer. If you’ve never quite understood how data encryption works, you’re not alone. It can even be difficult for some technicians to understand. Let’s delve a bit further into what you should know about data encryption.
You might be wondering what it is that you’re being protected from, which is a valid question. As you probably know, there are dangers that exist online. One of those dangers is identity theft. If you’ve never experienced identity theft, then you probably don’t know how much it can affect your life. Those that have had their identity stolen often end up dealing with subsequent problems for many years. In addition to financial losses, there’s the possible issue of having to restore your credit. Data encryption is a way to prevent identity theft so that you don’t have to deal with any of these issues.
Data Encryption Basics
Given the fact that technology is ever-changing and evolving, there are cutting-edge technologies like TIME AI quantum encryption that aim to optimize security. For now, let’s review the basics of how encryption works. It essentially prevents those with ill intent from reviewing your data, which includes any information that’s on your computer or mobile devices. This is accomplished by transforming data into an unreadable format that cannot be translated because it’s scrambled. It’s virtually impossible for someone to read encrypted data.
There is a caveat to not being able to read encrypted data. If a person is given a password, which is technically called a key, they can use it to read the encrypted information. This is because the key is used to decrypt data, which is essentially a way of unlocking the information and returning it to the original format. The reason why you may not have understood encryption before is because it all happens automatically.
If you’re sending a message to someone by email, the password used on your device will encrypt that message. You should be the only person with that password. When your message is being transmitted, the information is in the encrypted format until it arrives to the receiver’s device. The receiver likewise uses a password to access information received by email. Anyone attempting to review the message during the process of transmission, will only see indistinguishable data. This is also what happens when a web browser is linking to a secure website. In other words, when you’re completing a financial transaction on your bank’s website or buying products from your favorite online store, your data is encrypted.
Why Strong Passwords Are Important
Without a doubt, encryption is an effective way to secure your personal data. However, there’s an important element of encryption that requires your involvement. It’s something that has already been mentioned: passwords! A common issue that diminishes the strength of encryption is weak user passwords. It’s often a problem for a lot of reasons. To some degree, it’s because human beings are predictable. You’d be surprised how many people use the same exact password, yet expect it to provide protection against hackers. It’s the reason why so many companies have such strict rules regarding employee passwords.
Businesses tend to take the protection of their data more seriously than individuals. In so doing, they are often better at protecting business, customer and employee data, which is a good thing. The way a weak password affects encryption is that a hacker can intercept the encrypted message, then decrypt the information after figuring out the weak password. How will they figure out the password? By electronically trying common variations until they find the right one. Unfortunately, the weaker the password, the more likely it is for someone to figure it out. This happens more often than it should.
You might think that a weak password is something like 1234abcd, when the reality is that even slightly more complex passwords can be guessed because technology is used to figure them out. In fact, a hacker can use software to quickly send through billions of guesses until they figure out the password. If your password is complex, hackers are far less likely to achieve their goal. Additionally, TIME AI quantum encryption is an emerging technology that can possibly mitigate this issue.
How You Can Optimize Encryption
Given the information already shared about weak passwords, you probably won’t be surprised to know that creating strong passwords is a great way to make sure encryption is effective. Given that hackers can use technology to generate billions of password guesses, you might be wondering if you even have a chance at developing a password that would be strong enough to not be figured out. They answer is yes! The best type of password is random as opposed to generic. It’s also long and contains both lowercase and uppercase letters. A strong password will contain numbers, letters and characters.
One of the reasons why people don’t have great passwords is because the above referenced format is very difficult to remember and most people won’t be able to recall a password with letters, numbers, characters and the other elements mentioned. This is precisely why you might consider using a password manager. A password manager will both help you create a complex password and then enable you to use auto-fill when logging in so that you don’t have to worry about remembering it.
If you don’t want to use a password manager, there’s another option. You can create a password by stringing multiple words together. These words should not make logical sense when connected. For example, “kneesairplaneteethblue” is a password that would be much more difficult to figure out. The goal is to use different words that are meaningful to you because that would make them easier to remember if you’re not using a password manager. Hackers tend to try passwords like song names and titles of moves when guessing, so you’ll want to avoid them.
What You Should Know About Weak Encryption
We’ve reviewed the problems with weak passwords, so lets’ review the issue with weak encryption. This is basically when the equation used for encryption is too simple. This becomes a problem when hackers are able to basically solve the math, which means they’re able to obtain the passwords, as well as other important data. Just like passwords need to be strong, the equation used for encryption must also be strong. As you can see, encryption is just one aspect of protecting your personal information. You should also have good habits to mitigate the issue of identity theft. For instance, using public Wi-Fi increases the possibility of having your personal information stolen.
Encryption and Ransomware
Another aspect of encryption that’s noteworthy is ransomware. This is basically a software that’s used maliciously to block you from using your computer. What’s interesting is that ransomware uses encryption to achieve this goal. Criminals use ransomware to scramble your information. As you know, your data is protected using encryption, which is the same method used by criminals. The reason why encryption is used for both good and evil is because it’s an effective technology.