What Does Encryption Mean and Why is it so Important Online?

Encryption is of paramount importance and nowadays it is one of the best features advertised all over the web. What does encryption mean, though? Many people do not know many details about the importance of encryption and thus they are left in the dark, when it comes to understanding why they ought to pay attention to this function. This is why we have created this article, which explains in detail why encryption should be used vastly online and without any exception whatsoever. Join us in our journey towards knowledge and gather all the information required about encryption!

Definition of Encryption

If we were to define encryption, we would use the word coding for a message that was masked into something else via a special rule. In other words, encryption is the special disguise of a message using some pre-determined guidelines. The process of encryption has been used ever since antiquity, in avoidance of revealing secrets in general.

Of course, many centuries have passed and progress has made it easier and a lot more effective to encrypt and decrypt messages. With the contribution of complex algorithms, a message can be encrypted in ways that no human could ever guess. The encoded message is called cipher and it is not comprehensible to anyone but the holder of the encryption and decryption key.

Where Is Encryption Used?

Encryption has been used widely all over the web, in order to enhance privacy and anonymity online. It is crucial to have a solid encryption put into effect, prior to sending out classified information somewhere. Nowadays, the wireless Internet connection and the highly sophisticated hackers have made it essential to use encryption, whenever you wish to share something personal or secret over the web. Encryption can be proven vital in e-banking and financial transactions of all sorts, as well as e-commerce and business file sharing.

Apparently, these are not the sole purposes when encryption is used online. Nevertheless, these are cases when encryption is a must-have! As we have stated a bit earlier, the wireless environment is much more prone to being eavesdropped than any other hardwired environment. This is why it is always recommended to use advanced encryption when connecting wirelessly to the network.

Types of Encryption

Basically, there are two distinctive types of encryption; the symmetric and asymmetric or public encryption can be both used for achieving the highest level of privacy online. Their main difference lies beneath the type of key that is used for encrypting and decrypting the messages sent and received.

In the first case, there is a sole key used for both encrypting and decrypting the message. This is why there needs to be some prior communication between the sender and the receiver of the cipher. On the contrary, in the second case there is a key-pair used for the transformation of the plaintext into a ciphertext and vice versa. In most of the cases nowadays there is a combination of both symmetric and asymmetric encryption taking place on the Internet.

AES (or else Advanced Encryption Standard) has been using the cutting edge of technology for allowing state-of-the-art encryption without any flaws whatsoever. Among the various types of encryption algorithms employed for the coding and interpretation of the cipher, Rijndael and Blowfish have stood out for their quality standards and their effectiveness. However, there are many other algorithms that can either be used on their own or in conjunction with other encryption software and optimize the private nature of each text.

Potential Dangers Emerging from Encryption

The only real threat that can emerge from the use of end-to-end encryption has to do with the absolute privacy that can be taken advantage of by people, possibly terrorists and other malicious acts. This has been the backbone of the complaints that have been made by the FBI director, in the view of new and much advanced encryption that has been taking place. It is true that there needs to be some sort of legal reassurance that the encryption keys and algorithms will not be used in any harmful manner.

Should I Be Bothered with Encryption?

Well, it makes total sense why encryption is of such grave importance for many different uses online. Not only will this procedure allow you to send over classified documents in an encrypted and therefore private environment, but it will secure everything you do on the web.

When you try to access files for your business that you do not wish to share with others, when you are in the middle of online purchases via your credit card and when you want to chat with others about private aspects of your life, you will comprehend that encryption is what holds everything perfectly secured for you to enjoy.

So, it is worth taking the chance and learning more about what encryption software actually is and which type of encryption is the ideal for you. A maximum key-size of 256 bits and 128 bits for block size is a reliable encryption option for you, such as the one offered by Rijndael AES.

Nevertheless, you had better dig deeper and check with your encryption software such as VPN provider or any other service provider handing you out encryption options. Only in this way can you rest assured that you will always get the results that you want, maintaining your privacy and jeopardizing nothing of your personal information online!

Top-right image by: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BestCrypt)

Ali Qamar

Ali is an Internet security research enthusiast who enjoys "deep" research to dig out modern discoveries in the security industry. To be frank and honest, Ali started working online as a freelancer and still shares the knowledge for a living. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people, and always try to give only the best.



What Does Encryption Mean and Why is it so Important Online?

by Ali Qamar time to read: 4 min