Encryption: A Quick Guide to the Basics

RapidVPN/ September 17, 2016/ Blog/

‘Encryption’ is important and comes up all the time, but how many of us actually know what it is? Read on to find out more about encryption and why it is so important to us all.


What is Encryption?

Encryption is a method used to protect and secure our digital information when it is sent over public networks and over the internet. It is actually the only technology that can make the internet safe. Encryption involves taking information such as a message, and scrambling it up so that others can’t understand it. Some networks use encryption as standard, but many don’t. Thankfully, it is possible to encrypt your internet connection now by using a VPN.


How Does Encryption Work?

Encryption scrambles up data using an algorithm which means that digital data cannot be seen or understood by others. Encryption keeps your data secure and private. However, the data can be understood by those that have a special key which is why encryption is used to send messages safely. The key is actually a number, and that number can be used by the encryption algorithm to unscramble the data so that it can be read and understood.


What is End-to-End Encryption?

In end-to-end encryption, sent data can only be read and understood by the individual sending it and the individual receiving it. This is because it is only these two people that have the correct keys needed to unscramble the information. End-to-end encryption prevents middle men from seeing the information.


Where is Encryption Used?

Companies use end-to-end encryption in order to keep their private data secure. Encryption can also be used by individuals for example with their smart phones when they send emails or messages to others. When you are on the internet at home you will be using encryption even without realising it. For example when a browser that has a URL starting with ‘https’ tells you that there is an encrypted connection between the browser you are on and the website that you are looking at.


Why Does Encryption Matter?

Encryption protects our digital information when it is sent across networks. Encryption also protects our data when it is stored, for example on our phones and computers. Encryption is therefore essential to keeping our private data secure and safe, and preventing others from seeing information that we want to keep private. Therefore, encrypt your internet connection now, for example by using a VPN.