This is a world of net surfing, online shopping and communicating (texting and calling) via internetwork. This has made everyone’s life easier. Who would have thought that one can buy literally everything sitting at home in just a few clicks! But for that a person has to send his sensitive information like credit card information, username, login password, transaction password, etc. How can you trust a website that it is not going to share that data or use it against you when you decide to buy something from there? The thing that makes such websites reliable is their latest encryption technology that it uses.
What is encryption?
Data encryption is the method of encoding (i.e. changing a piece of data into some other form) a crucial information so that only authorized party may read it. This is done in order to avoid unauthorized access. The encryption method involves a set of algorithm that can only be decrypted using a certain key. Without that key a highly skilled professional having large computational resources and well designed encryption scheme can only crack the data which is time consuming and nearly impossible.
There are 3 types of encryption technology – symmetric, asymmetric and hashing.
1. Symmetric encryption: In this encryption technology, if a data is encrypted and is given a key or a password while sending across the network, the same key will be used to decrypt it so as to unfold the file or a message. Storing this key and making it only available to the software that uses it is quite tricky. It is used in cloud backup services where the user is given the access key to decrypt the data.
It’s major demerit is sending it over the internet where it could be accessed by third or unauthorized parties. Also the software that needs the information must have the access key, else the whole encryption would be useless.
2. Asymmetric encryption: Unlike symmetric encryption technology that needs same password for both encryption and decryption, asymmetric encryption technology needs different keys at both the sides. The encrypters use, in this case, a public key in order to scramble the data and a different private key is used by a separate user to gain access to it. This method is far better since the hassles of whole transmitting data into unreliable network could be avoided.
It is possible for a third party to gain access to the public key you are given while you communicate with the actual one. They can then easily gain access to the actual message, encrypt that and forward the same set of message to other direction. This is why secure certificate is required so that the browsers trust such kind of websites as well as the customers and decide what is genuine and what not.
3. Hashing: Some websites like Facebook uses this technique in which the passwords are stored in some other form and it is not reversible. If I use ‘pa$$word’ the encrypted form will look like ‘3a1180vc’. Now the question arises how does it detect whether you enter correct password or not. The method is simple. Every time you enter the password it will decode it using the same algorithm and match the code with the existing code. If you forget your password it will not be able to decrypt it so you have to re-enter that again using the link it sends across your email.
Encryption technology has many benefits. It gains customers’ reliance upon you while they decide to purchase anything. The more they buy anything, more they get self approval that a particular site is safe. And they visit again and likely recommend others. Using encryption technology one can trust saving their sensitive information over cloud networks. Cloud computing is on the rise in the past few years. One can upload files over there and write their pivotal information. Google drive is the prime example for that. Sometimes the service provider gains access to our valuable information. Encryption key helps prevent that
Encrypting secures the data and one can have access to it at any part of the world and now is the time when one does not have to keep his laptop along everywhere he goes unless it is highly essential. Through encryption one can be assured that their data is always kept safe, whether they purchase anything over the network or keep a file on the cloud. Remote access is indeed possible and a reality these days.