Facebook data breach has raised lots of questions regarding online data security and privacy. Many top notch online service providers are modifying their privacy rule sets following that. There are various tools and techniques one can adapt to secure data and information online, one of them is encryption. Data encryption is the preventive measure for data security. It applies the security measures that prevent any third party from reading the data, beforehand.
Simply, data encryption is converting readable text or other format of data into encoded data. While encrypting the data, encryption keys are also formed, which later is used to decode the scrambled data. The encryption and decryption occurs between servers where data are saved and transferred and browsers where the data are displayed. The idea of the encryption rises from end-to-end protection of data. With this, only the authorized entities are allowed to view the real data. Those data are not visible even for the service providers. Digital encryption, used on the internet, is complicated and difficult to crack, that is why it is considered safe for privacy of data.
Cryptography is associated with the process of translating a text into unintelligible text and vice versa. It uses an specific algorithm to cipher the data and create an encryption key. It's the method of storing and transmitting data in such a form that only intended candidate can view the data.
Encryption key is the random string of bits that are used to scramble and unscramble data. The data is paired with the key so that when the person with the key can decipher the encoded text. The algorithm is used in such a way that each key is unique and one key can decipher only one encryption.
Data That are Encrypted
Any text or other form of data can be encrypted but cryptography is only used for those information that need to be private to particular people. Such data include, passwords, payment information, personal identification number and other personal information. These data directly affect an individual, so even the online service providers are not allowed to see these information. Many organizations and individuals also use encryption to secure sensitive data.
According to the algorithm used in cryptography, there are mainly two encryption methods: Symmetric encryption and Asymmetric encryption
Symmetric encryption algorithm uses the same key to cipher and decipher the message. Both the sender and the receiver knows the key, people without the key cannot read the message. The key is shared through the internet. It's old and well-known technique of cryptography.
Asymmetric encryption generates a pair of keys, one to encrypt the message and one to decrypt. The encryption key is known as public key. It is shared with the servers so that the message can be sent to the receiver. The decryption key is private key. One with the private key can only decipher the message. Public key is made available to anyone that wants to send message whereas the private key is only available to the entity that is authorized to decode the message. This is far better technique of data privacy.
Benefits of Encryption
- Encryption ensures the confidentiality of the message sent over the internet or any network.
- Prevents unauthorized third parties or threat actors from stealing sensitive and personal data.
- Prevents the general users from being the victim of cyber crime.
- The authentication of the message is preserved through the verification of the origin of message.
- It assures the integrity of the message. Encryption itself is the proof that the message has not been seen or changed since it was sent.
- It establishes non-repudiation of the message; the sender cannot deny his action.