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Encryption: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Encryption: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Encryption is one of the most essential features of digital communication today. Making our data secure and private has never more important in the age of cybercrime and identity theft. Because while data is power, that power can be used for frightening purposes by those who know how to access it illegally.

Tools like malware scanners, antivirus programs and VPNs all use some form of data encryption in order to protect its users. But what exactly are the origins of encryption?

Origins

The earliest uses of encryption date back to the tools of Sparta. Known as scytales, these were the beginnings of the practice of information security. Some sources even say that encrypting information for security and privacy of confidential data has been around since the dawn of literacy. However, the general consensus is that the first users of cryptography and encryption were military and business personnel.

But as information became more accessible to the greater public, the demand for personal encryption spurred the need to develop systems that would be accessible to select users. As technology grew, the information passed from user to user (and the systems that enabled it) needed to stay secure, travel securely, and have a smooth method of decryption once it gets to the recipient.

Encryption and you

Today’s encryption does more than protect data - it protects entire systems. From phones to computers, encryption has become the first line of defense against cyber criminals. And as a result of this, encryption has been the silent battle that has been waged between these crooks and our own cyber security.

Encryption has steadily become more sophisticated to keep up with these attacks. Now there are even multiple levels of encryption that are available to you, ranging from your simple ciphers to more sophisticated ones like asymmetric key encryption. These algorithms can be simple to complex in terms of security. For some government-level information, these layers can be threaded together to form a security network that would be very difficult to bypass.

However, it’s important to note that no encryption is completely foolproof. Since cyber criminals are always developing more sophisticated ways of getting into our systems, the only guarantee is to stay one step ahead of them. This is why it’s essential for consumers to get programs and tools that constantly update their databases for potential attacks and how to fight one when it happens.

On the question of privacy

Of course, the one question that everyone asks after security is privacy. Is your data safe from attackers? If you follow the latest news on cyber attacks, update your antivirus databases and use programs that can minimise your chances of being attacked, then yes. Security software developers are always on the lookout for new ways your data can be stolen and develop counters to these threats.

However, if you want your data to be private, that might be a little different. Legitimate software usually has permissions to access your data to make browsing the internet or operating your system much smoother - and while it’s difficult for attackers to breach this directly, it’s still possible. There has also been a question of user privacy in recent years with the news about extensive government surveillance of their citizen’s behaviour online.

Fortunately, there are tools that can protect your identity online as well.

Browsing with Betternet

Betternet is a free VPN software that allows you to access the internet while protecting your privacy and data by encrypting your system and changing your IP address during your browsing sessions.

What makes us different from other free VPN services is that we are transparent when it comes to how we make money and how we handle user data. You can learn more about these by visiting our site and by reading our blog.

Access the best online streaming sites today by downloading Betternet, no registration required.

by Betternet