Cyber Insights – Securing your data through Encryption

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The term “encryption” has been recently used a lot with securing data through the Internet. However, encryption has been around for centuries and has also played an important role in the protection of information. The Great Julius Caesar was known to use encryption to secure his private messages, in which only the recipient of his messages would be able to read. The method used to encrypt Caesar’s messages had its limitations, but today’s encryption methods have far surpassed Caesar’s own and when implemented properly can stop hackers from accessing your private information.

If a hacker were to monitor your online activities, they could steal both your personal and financial information. This is the reason why encryption is important. Encryption protects you from hackers spying on your online communications with a bank or online retailer. Enabling encryption on your personal computing devices and ensuring that encryption is enabled on a website, provides you better security while conducting business transactions.

Most modern encryption techniques use mathematical algorithms to encrypt data. However, you must understand how to use encryption and when it is enabled. Here are some key observations and activities you must consider when using encryption:

1. When conducting financial transactions online, always ensure that you are using a website with “HTTPS” protocol enabled. “HTTPS” is enabled on a website when you can observe the following:

  • https:// in the website’s address;
  • A padlock icon in the left hand side of your browser’s address bar;
  • Your browser’s address bar has a green highlighted area;
  • See the example below:


2. When enabling encryption on your computer or smartphone, always use a passphrase or long password as the key.

3. Always secure your devices by enabling password access, regularly updating apps and installing an anti-virus program.

4. Whenever connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, always ensure you use encryption whenever possible.

5. If you are ever required to choose a method of encryption, always choose the strongest one.



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