If you’ve ever looked into how to keep your data safe, you’ve probably discovered that encryption is required. The majority of people, of course, have no notion of what that implies. Even fewer individuals are familiar with its operation. While you don’t need to be an expert to protect your data online, knowing the fundamentals of crucial topics like encryption is still beneficial. Most e-commerce companies have their encryption methods in place to protect consumers, but a free VPN adds another degree of protection by encrypting data even further and avoiding identity theft.
What is data encryption?
Data encryption is a computational procedure that converts unencrypted, human-readable data into encrypted data that can only be accessed by those with the correct cryptographic key. Simply put, encryption transforms readable data into a form that can only be decoded and viewed by those who know the appropriate password – and it’s an important part of digital transformation.
How does data encryption work?
Plaintext or cleartext refers to data that does not need to be encrypted. The plaintext must be sent via some encryption methods, which are mathematical operations that must be performed on raw data. There are various encryption methods, each with its application and security rating.
Aside from the algorithms, an encryption key is also required. The plaintext is turned into the encrypted piece of data, also known as ciphertext, using the stated key and an appropriate encryption technique. The ciphertext is sent across insecure methods of communication rather than the plaintext to the receiver.
When the intended recipient receives the ciphertext, they can utilize a decryption key to transform it back to plaintext. This decryption key, which may or may not is the same as the key used to encrypt the communication, must be kept private.
Common encryption algorithms
- Triple DES
Triple DES was created to replace the Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm, which hackers were able to break quite easily.
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a cryptographic method that the US government and several other organizations consider the gold standard.
- RSA Security
RSA Security is a standard for encrypting data sent over the internet is the RSA public-key encryption method.
This symmetric cipher separates messages into 64-bit blocks and encrypts each one separately.
Data at rest vs. data in transit
Data in transit, also known as data in motion, is information actively traveling from one area to another, such as over the internet or a private network.
Data at rest refers to information not actively traveling from one device to another or from one network to another, such as information kept on a laptop, hard drive, or archived/stored in another fashion.
End-to-end vs. VPN encryption
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) in communication apps prevents data from being read, listened to, manipulated, or misused while in transit. End-to-end encryption is not available on all communication services. Regardless of whatever messaging applications you use, all VPNs contain encryption capabilities to protect security and privacy.
For end-to-end encryption, data is encrypted in transit and not decrypted until it reaches the receiver. In contrast, data is encrypted when sent and then decrypted when it reaches the VPN server. Most secure VPN for PC, on the other hand, adheres to a strict no-log policy and does not keep any information on its servers.
In conclusion, both E2EE and VPNs are modern and secure solutions to keep your private conversations from being leaked or exploited, but VPNs can encrypt more online traffic and provide additional benefits.
Different types of VPN encryption
Below are some of the most used VPN encryption protocols.
- OpenVPN is a very secure VPN encryption system that is widely used today. OpenVPN is a highly adjustable, open-source technology.
- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) and IPSec are commonly used to create a secure connection between your device and the VPN server.
- SSTP is a Microsoft-owned VPN protocol mostly used with Windows operating systems.
- Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is a dial-up VPN technique.
Can encrypted data be hacked?
Hacking is possible with encrypted data. Encryption techniques, such as complete disk encryption, are available on many endpoint devices. Attackers can use malware to access an endpoint device and then use the device’s keys to decrypt data.
Attackers frequently try different keys at random to break encryption. The size of the key has a direct relationship with the possibilities of success. As a result, most encryption standards require 256-bit encryption keys. Some encryption methods, on the other hand, use weak ciphers that are vulnerable to brute force attacks.
Using phishing or other social engineering techniques to dupe a privileged user into revealing the key is arguably the simplest way to breach encrypted data. The risk of a privileged individual turning against the company and abusing their privileges to steal data poses a serious threat to encrypted data. Negligent users who do not follow security policies are also considered insider dangers.
Encrypt your data securely and easily with a VPN
One of the most common methods for hackers to steal identities is to intercept data as it is being sent from a user to a website. A hacker may, for example, intercept important details as a person makes an online transaction. However, with a VPN in place, you can avoid online theft of your credentials and other crucial data.