Encryption is the guardian that keeps your data safe in the digital world. Without it, our communication, personal information, and confidential files would leak to the public.
Simply put, encryption is a process that transforms data into gibberish that makes no sense. The only people who can read encrypted data include you and the person you’re sending the file to. It’s math magic that has been around since the Roman Empire.
Another thing that has been around for a long time is criminals. And they’ve evolved from the physical to the digital world. Cybercriminals are trying to get your personal data, and encryption keeps them at bay. Here are 4 situations where it’s necessary.
Using Public Wi-Fi
Whenever something is completely free, there’s usually a catch. In the case of public Wi-Fi, it is a digital vulnerability.
Hackers frequently visit restaurants, parks, coffee shops, hotels, and public spaces to breach phones and laptops. They use a man-in-the-middle attack, intercepting your device and eavesdropping on your communication. Think of it as the mailman opening and reading your bills and bank statements before delivering them.
The solution here is using a virtual private network. VPNs use many protocols to encrypt your data and change your IP address. There is a myth that VPNs slow down your browsing. But with new protocols like Wireguard, which is the fastest one so far, the myth is busted. You won’t feel the slightest change in browsing speed and be completely shielded.
Transferring Files Online
Encryption is essential when transferring files online. It doesn’t matter if it’s a company balance sheet or the login details for the new branch opening up. If that data falls into the wrong hands, the potential damages can skyrocket to millions of dollars.
When sending files, you should always use file or cloud encryption. Many employees use messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Viber to send confidential data. All these apps are end-to-end encrypted. But they don’t have the same level of protection as corporate-grade software.
Sending Private Emails
In the age of social media, we still use email as the standard corporate communications channel. That’s why sharing sensitive information should be encrypted.
Providers like Gmail, Outlook, and others encrypt the data while it’s getting transmitted. But the body remains clear text, and they can read what you send. That’s why spam filters work so well. If a few keywords match a reported scam, providers either send it to your Junk tab or don’t deliver it.
Email encryption converts plain text into scrambled letters and symbols. This ensures only the recipient can read it and no one else. It’s an essential component of company cybersecurity.
Scammers want two things: your money and your data. They use phishing emails, SMS messages, or fake social media accounts to lead you to mirrored or unsecured websites.
Sometimes, they even play on your emotions. They do that by sending you a flagged email with high priority that looks like it’s from the bank. The mail says that someone has logged in from a different country or changed your password.
Because it’s urgent, you click on the link inside, ignore the red flags, and insert your account details. But the trick is the scammers created a mirrored version of the bank website, and you just gave them the keys to your account.
Whenever you visit a website or access banking apps, ensure it has HTTPS in the URL. The S in HTTPS stands for Secure, which means the provider has an SSL certificate. In simple terms, all the data you send to it gets encrypted. https://www.imperva.com/learn/application-security/man-in-the-middle-attack-mitm/