Out of the 7 billion people on this planet, I’m sure that most of us are constantly sweating over the protection of our online activities or are simply one among those people who are scared to lose their precious data to the ‘bad guys’ of the Internet World. These things are part and parcel of the web, but what is not is the lack of solutions to this massive headache. And the name of that solution is- encryption of your data.
What Is Encryption?
As complicated and daunting as this term might sound, encryption is a simple concept to understand. To define it in layman terms, encryption is all about keeping your online activities safe from the eyes of third-parties (the ‘bad guys’ we referred to earlier) who would just like to have a sneak-peak into your online life and steal all your valuable information (e.g., passwords, bank transactions, etc.) in the blink of an eye. Encryption helps in protecting the secrecy of your data, either stored on computer systems or transmitted through a network. Here’s a fun fact for you! Did you know that Internet Service Providers in the USA have the license to provide your browsing history to e-commerce sites to better optimize products for you? Well, thank us later if you didn’t know that!
Types Of Encryption
Encryption is of many types. However, here are the three most popular methods, namely:
- Symmetric Encryption: This is the oldest and simplest type of encryption wherein only one key is used to encode and decode the information. It is simple, quick, and is generally used to transfer data in bulk.
- Asymmetric Encryption: Also known as public-key cryptography, this is a relatively new method that uses two differently related keys to encrypt and decrypt information, i.e., the public key and the private key. While the public key is used to encrypt the data, the private one is used to decrypt it and is used a lot more than the symmetric one.
- End-to-End Encryption: Widely used in WhatsApp, this method ensures that only the two communicators of the information can access it and no one else. Even your Telecom Service Provider will not be able to decrypt your information!
How to Encrypt My Internet Connection?
Now that you know what encryption is and its types, the only question wandering in your mind would be- How do I encrypt my Internet connection? Well, here are the top five options that we have for you to encrypt your Internet connection and protect yourself from the ‘baddies’ of the virtual world:
1. Use only HTTPS Websites
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, and anything that is ‘secured’ is worth trusting. While using an HTTP website for a casual surf on the browser is acceptable, making online payments with one is going to leave your transaction details there for the world to see. Therefore, to encrypt your Internet connections, use only those sites which automatically encrypt your data on arrival.
2. VPN can be your best friend!
A VPN expands to Virtual Private Network. It is one of the easiest and safest ways to encrypt your information as it encases your Internet connection under a layer of encryption. A VPN can also act as a magic key for you to gain access to restricted information in certain regions while changing your location at the same time. Some of the best VPNs include Nord and CyberGhost, which are reliable and connect you to plenty of sites and countries. But be careful; this is a world where being too adventurous can cost you big. Therefore, we advise you to play it safe!
3. Encrypt your Wi-Fi Connection
If you thought that your Wi-Fi connection had come along with encryption, then it’s time that we debunk that myth for you. While this may be partially true, having your Wi-Fi connection without a password is like having a $100 mn vault without a passcode. Keeping your Wi-Fi open may leave you at the risk of exposing your valuable information at the hands of intruders who can gain access to it in the blink of an eye. Therefore, we advise you to set a password to your Wi-Fi to prevent any such mishaps. Also, ensure that your router is regularly updated as most companies release regular updates to fix their flaws. However, this doesn’t guarantee that your Internet Service Provider will turn a blind eye towards your activities on the Internet.
4. Use End-to-End Encryption Messaging Apps only
Who doesn’t like staying connected with their loved ones living miles apart from us by the use of messaging apps? However, the chances are that your most personal chats can be leaked by hackers and put out there for the world to see. Therefore, we advise you to use apps like WhatsApp and Signal (for Android and IOS) and Apple Messages (IOS only), which come with End-to-End Encryption and safeguard your chats from unwanted intruders who are hungry for your data.
5. Browser Extensions may be your underrated Messiah
The World Wide Web is an expansive galaxy filled with a plethora of options, and adding reliable browser extensions can be a useful method to protect your personal information from The Vigilante. Most extensions either upgrade your site status to HTTPS or prevent tracking. However, don’t forget to download them from trusted websites as some extensions are listed on malicious websites.
Now that you know the concept of encryption and its importance don’t waste a single minute more. Get your Internet connection encrypted, NOW!