When you think of encryption, you probably think of it being used by computers. However, encryption is nothing new – it’s been around for thousands of years. With the rise of ecommerce and doing business online, encryption is becoming essential to our daily lives. SSL, VPNs, and file encryption are among many popular encryption methods that we use almost every day.
SSL is the most commonly used form of encryption. Without it our bank websites, ecommerce, and even our email would fail to work. Connections over the internet are not secure by their very nature. Packets can be sniffed and the data you’re transmitting from yourself to a server can be intercepted. SSL provides a layer of security and encodes your message when it’s sent to a website’s server. This allows the secure transfer of credit card details and passwords alike.
File encryption is used by people who wish to store confidential files. You can encrypt a part of your hard drive so all files you place on them are secured. This is known as a virtual partition. Software such as Truecrypt allows you to place files in a partition that is not readable by anyone else without a password. You can transfer the virtual partition from computer to computer because it’s technically just a single file. Think of it as a zip file containing many different file types – except it can only be opened or accessed with a password.
Virtual Private Networks
A VPN secures your entire connection. All traffic you send to that VPN server will be encrypted. When you request third party server a connection is first made to your VPN provider. They will then download the data and send it to you encrypted. This allows you to anonymously browse websites and other servers on the internet. Nobody will be able to see what you’re doing on the internet except of course the VPN service. To others including your ISP it will look like you’re connected to a single server, not actually browsing the internet. Think of them as a middle man, they’re downloading the data for you and sending it to you.
My name is Alex Bailey and I’ve been blogging about computes including encryption methods, Gmail, and other computer services for six years.