Cybersecurity has been dominating the news for what seems like forever. Whether it is talk of the latest data breach or advice on how to better protect yourself from cybercrime, our digitally-focused world is constantly obsessing over increasingly new and innovative ways to better secure our information.
In the midst of all this chatter, there are a lot of big technical phrases thrown around. Without background knowledge, it can be hard to keep up.
If you've even done preliminary research into cybersecurity, chances are you've heard the word encryption quite a bit. But what exactly is encryption and how does it work?
If you ever created a secret language with your best friend in grade school, you've got experience in encryption.
What you need to know about encryption
Encryption is really just a fancy term for scrambling up words or messages to make them undecipherable to outsiders. If you ever created a secret language with your best friend in grade school, you were already practising encryption.
Modern encryption is (thankfully) a lot more complex than your playground codes. However, the general process of encrypting messages is still simple enough to understand. Encryption software takes a given file and jumbles its content by using something called an encryption key.
This key is a formula that tells your computer or smartphone how exactly to jumble and unscramble these files. When a user without an encryption key tries to open the protected document, they will see a big mess of random characters as opposed to your information.
Of course, this is an extremely simplified explanation. The actual process of encryption is much more in-depth and complex, which is exactly what makes them so effective.
Consider this: According to the EE Times, information protected by a 128-bit encryption would take 1 billion years to hack, even with a super computer working at top speed to try every possible combination.
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The good news is you don't even need a basic understanding of this process to reap the benefits of encryption. SafeSwiss will take care of the tech knowledge so you don't have to.
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