The answer to the 1st part of the question in the simplest words would be to access the information which is in the form of data only by correct encryption.
The definition of encryption is the process of encoding or accessing any information in a predefined security procedure to make the data available to only authorized users.
To understand it even better let us take an example. Suppose that a person is browsing the internet and does purchase using an online store. There he chooses credit card as the payment mode. Now when he is logged in to the account, the data is uploaded through his computer to the server. The data is exchanged between the server and the user’s computer.
If this data is not encrypted then any third party or hacker can easily access the credit card details. But if data encryption is enabled then a security system would scramble the original data and it would not be accessible to the hacker in the simpler form rather he would not be able to understand it.
SSL certificate is the term that we hear a lot of times. It means secure socket layer, a public key which was developed by Netscape. The secure socket layer uses RSA public key for authentication. Well encryption also protects the data which is sent from various devices rather than only the internet.
We can say that encryption scrambles the original content by the user who is using the internet or the device and decryption is the process of decoding this scrambled message or content into the original information, this is done at the receiver’s end.
Thus data encryption prevents the frauds over the online transactions. And it prevents the misuse of government data or any type of critical data. There are 2 types of data encryption and its various types of sub-categories are explained below in brief. Symmetric and Asymmetric or Public key are the two types of encryption.
Data encryption standard or DES: – This sort of encryption system was mainly followed by the government of the United States of America. It was a 56-bit encryption system and became unusable with the advancement of technology. Since the computing power also increased with time and data can be accessible by hackers with the increase in computing power. But DES system is still used in some areas.
What is Advanced encryption standard or AES
Advanced encryption standard or AES: – This was one of the most trusted security systems by the government of the United States of America.
TripleDES or 3DES:- In this type of data protection system, the data is at first encrypted then it is decrypted and then again the data is encrypted. Therefore 168 bits of key length is obtained. This procedure is brought into effect by running the earlier version of DES three times, thus giving enough protection to sensitive data.
What is RSA
RSA: – This data encryption is widely used and data can be exchanged over the most insecure connections also. This method was named after its founders and it uses a key length of 1024 or 2048 bits.
The 2nd part of the question is explained here. Why do we need encryption? Well, it is clear from the above explanation that data encryption is used in the exchange of information. I had given an example in the above context and now let us explain it by elaborating.
When we do the transaction over the internet, then data is shared from the user’s computer to the server. We share our credit card details to purchase anything and also type the password. With the use of encryption, this data is jumbled or scrambled into vague or various different types of characters which is extremely difficult for third parties to crack.
But the server can decrypt the data and understand the information that has been conveyed. Without encryption they would have hacked someone’s account and financial info and then the hackers can very easily take out the money from the account.
We have taken into account the example of money but there are much more sensitive data about a nation. The government uses the internet and there are many critical matters which must not be accessible to third parties under any circumstances. For this reason, we need the best form of data encryption.
The mobile phone has become a household name nowadays. A mobile phone has all the necessary details about the owner like the bank account details, identity card, etc. in the storage. An encrypted phone if stolen would reveal nothing but a phone which has not been encrypted can result in serious consequences.
Some might think that encrypting and decrypting information would take a lot of time. But in general terms it does not take a lot of time. A recent development in computing technology has enabled devices to store and access data very quickly. Therefore instead of worrying about the speed we should be worried about encryption.
Data erasing gets easier with this technique. Earlier to erase data, it was rewritten in the form of 0s and 1s; this method involved too much time and was a very lengthy process. Nowadays crypto-shredding technique is used to erase data quickly.
Encryption is used to protect the identity and privacy of the user. As I discussed above that while browsing or exchanging personal information over the internet third parties can have access to it. Thus by the implementation of data encryption personal data is prevented from being hacked. Therefore it is always better to turn this feature into auto mode rather than switching it again and again. The encryption system should be set to default condition and always on.
Hence we can state that in today’s world where cybercrime and security is always on the edge of breach we can only protect our privacy and personal information by the use of smart ways like encryption. Therefore it is still advisable to switch on this excellent feature that was developed for the benefit of consumers.