Encryption 101

As the digital world constantly evolves, our security practices must evolve as well. Many options are available to ensure optimum safety for technology users, one of which is encryption. In case you are not familiar with this practice, we’d like to share everything that you need to know about encryption:

What is encryption?

Encryption is the process that takes data and turns it into a random text called cipher text to hide information. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it; thus creating a layer of security. Unencrypted data is called plain text; encrypted data is referred to as cipher text.

How does encryption work?

The best way to describe the process of encryption is with the models below. To sum up, there are two types of encryption – public key encryption and private key encryption.

In public key encryption, the following occurs:

  • One party encrypts plaintext into cipher text using a public key
  • The second party then decrypts the cipher text back into plaintext using a private key
source: makeuseof.com

source: makeuseof.com

In private key encryption, the following occurs:

  • Both parties need a private key, which is used to encrypt and decrypt data

source: makeuseof.com

Additional facts about encryption

  • Mobile phones/SD cards, devices, laptops and computers can all be encrypted.
  • The strongest kind of encryption is a combination of software and hardware encryption.
  • Each device requires a unique kind of security. They should be encrypted to meet the individual needs of the device.
  • There are multiple ways to encrypt your devices. Using the cloud is one that is strongly recommended.

Who should use encryption?

If you’re wondering if you fall within the parameters of someone who should utilize encryption, the simple answer is: YES. If you work in a field where sending sensitive data is a routine part of your job – doctors, lawyers, mortgage specialists, etc. – encryption is a must. This is the most surefire way to safeguard the data and protect information from cybercriminals.

Need help encrypting your devices or just want further information on the subject? Call us at 970-419-0602 and our expert team of IT specialists will take care of everything.


July 19, 2016


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