Encryption in today’s society is used almost every day by everyone. Logging into your email, searching Google, buying things online, or checking out money out of any ATM are examples of encryption in modern times. There are many common forms of encryption, the most popular being SSL, VPN, and standard file encryption.
SSL is by far the most commonly used encryption. Many people do not know it but many things they do on the internet rely on SSL. SSL creates a secure tunnel between you and another web server on the internet. Without the security of SSL your data can potentially be read by third parties. When using an open wireless access point you are at a high risk of such an attack. Google recently implemented SSL on basic web searches meaning the only parties who can know what you search for are you and Google. Bank accounts and ecommerce merchants rely heavily on SSL to keep your personal data, including credit cards and bank details safe from prying eyes.
File encryption such as Truecrypt is another common method of securing data online. Truecrypt allows you to create a virtual partition on your computer to store files in. From the outside this partition will look like scrambled data when looked at. Once you enter the encryption passcode, it will become human readable again. You can do as little as encrypt a single file or go so far as to encrypt your entire hard drive and operating system.
VPN is another form of encryption used by people who wish to keep their internet browsing anonymous. Like SSL VPN creates an encrypted tunnel from your PC to another server. However, the similarities end there. All traffic on the internet you request is first downloaded by your VPN and then sent to you. This allows you to connect to servers by proxy allowing your VPN to download data for you. Your ISP and any other third party will only show you connected to your VPN, anything you do from there on will be anonymous.
Guest Post Author Bio:
My name is Alex Bailey and I’ve been blogging about encryption, operating systems, and major tech companies such as Google for the last six years.