Shell & Desktop Enhancements
|What is Data Encryption ?
Data encryption is the method of using algorithmic schemes and mathematical calculations to transform plain text into ciphered text, thus making it non-readable and unusable for unauthorized parties. To decrypt an encrypted message the recipient must use a special key that triggers the mechanism and transforms text back to the original version.
Earlier, when the Internet wasn't so popular, people rarely used any kind of encryption and it was used as a military security tool. Nowadays, when banking, online shopping and other services are more prevalent even home users have basic knowledge about data encryption.
Today if you surf the Internet and connect to secure server your web browser automatically encrypts data to prevent intruders from stealing and intercepting private communications. In case if their attempt to capture the information will be successful, it anyway will be scrambled and unreadable. But when the data will arrive to intended recipient it will be automatically decrypted to be readable again.
Types of Data Encryption
There are many types of data encryption software algorithms though not all of them are reliable enough. Earlier 64-bit encryption was considered to be strong enough, but 128-bit solutions proved it's wrong. The newest standard called Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) allows a maximum of 256-bits. In most occasions the more powerful computer, the more probability the data encryption scheme will be eventually broken.
Generally, there are two data encryption scheme categories: asymmetric and symmetric. AES, Blowfish and DES use algorithms with a symmetric key. Every system has a key to encrypt and decrypt data. It is shared among the recipient and the sender. In case of asymmetric encryptions like RSA or Diffie-Hellman system creates and assigns a pair of keys: a private and a public key. The latter may be used by anyone to encrypt data before sending it to the recipient. When the message is encrypted, it becomes viewable only for the owner of the private key, which will allow him to decrypt the information. The asymmetric encryption is in most cases considered to be more secure in comparison with symmetric encryption as its private key is not intended to be shared.
Strong encryption like TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) will also keep your data private though they can't always ensure its security. Website that uses these types of encryption may be verified with the procedure of checking the digital signature on its certificate that in turn must be validated by an approved Certificate Authority.
More and more users nowadays understand the idea of Internet's openness and danger of web surfing, which explains the growing popularity of data encryption. The latter is being frequently applied even to such common communications as instant messaging and emailing. And that is worth it, as otherwise with a lack of security mechanism any data transferred over the Internet may be easily stolen and viewed by anyone. It is even more dangerous in case of critical data that can be compromised in many ways, particularly if it is being stored in servers than can change its owner over the years. But when people understand how detrimental may be the crimes like data or identity theft, data encryption becomes worth pursuing.