How Encryption Protects Your Privacy
Encryption is another way to protect your data online. Most likely, some of your information is already encrypted – this is the practice of some organizations that process users’ personal data. For example, your bank’s website probably uses encryption using SSL and TLS protocols.
If you see a lock at the beginning of your browser’s address bar, it means that the connection between it and the server is encrypted. If you fill out an online form on a site where such protection is not provided, hackers can introduce a malicious program on the host server to listen to your conversations and steal your data. This will not happen when using the SSL/TLS protocol.
how hackers can access your data online
If the URL starts with https:// instead of http://, it also means that the site uses SSL/TSL encryption. HTTPS protocol is much more secure than HTTP. However, remember that encryption only protects the transmitted data. As soon as they get to the company’s server, they become vulnerable, for example, in the event of an attack on the corporate network.
Skype calls are completely encrypted – provided that they are made exclusively via Skype. But if you call from Skype to a regular phone number, the connection via PSTN (regular telephone network) is not encrypted and the conversation can be overheard. Owners of iPhones and Android smartphones can also use an encrypted “secret chat” on Facebook. This feature is not available on desktop computers and laptops.
One of the reasons for WhatsApp’s popularity is end–to-end message encryption. This feature is also available in other applications, but it is usually disabled. Find and turn it on yourself – believe me, you need it.
The anonymous encrypted Tor browser also helps to hide the history of site visits. It is often used by investigative journalists and NGOs when they have to work in a hostile or dangerous environment. Nevertheless, Tor does not provide one hundred percent protection: it is vulnerable to malware and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Encryption is a great way to protect your data online. But not all governments agree with this. Some of them force providers to leave loopholes for security services so that they have access to encrypted data. The problem is that hackers can use such a loophole.