Although encryption is quickly becoming a buzzword it is, in fact, a highly active and important part of our daily lives and we don’t even notice it. From basic data exchanges and storage to more complex systems, encryption can be found anywhere to a certain extent. In this article, we’ll cover what encryption is and how it plays an active role in our lives.
Encryption is the process of scrambling data and converting it into ciphertext that appears random so only authorized parties can access the actual message. This process uses an encryption key so only people that possess both the data but also the key can decipher it. The more complex the encryption algorithm is, the less likely it is that a third party will be able to guess the key.
256-bit encryption it’s a very popular and secure method currently. It uses a 256-bit key that is 78 digits long and contains an endless amount of combinations. 128 and 192-bit encryption are also very popular as they are used in algorithms like SSL. However, there’s also 512-bit encryption with 155 digits and even 2048-bit keys with 617 digits. The last two are arguably an overkill and anything between 128 to 256-bit should be good enough for most use-cases.
Now that we got this out of the way, let’s see in what daily activities encryption plays an active role.
Easy communication represents a key advantage of our society. With countless popular applications that have a chat feature, data encryption is starting to receive more and more attention. For this type of use-case, end-to-end encryption represents a key term. This means that only the parties present in a conversation have access to messages and nobody else, not even the app owners or developers.
Popular social media apps like Facebook and Snapchat are using end-to-end encryption but others like Instagram and Twitter are not. However, there are dedicated messaging apps that have their sole focus on end-to-end encryption and privacy like Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram.
Storage of personal data represents one of the most important implementations of encryption. Your computer’s hard drive is not encrypted by default but certain apps can allow full disk encryption. There are also external hard drives and memory sticks that can be used and are fully-encrypted out of the box. Moreover, cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox are using 256-bit AES or SSL encryption. Many other dedicated services are using advanced security protocols and even blockchain encryption in some cases.
Although at first, it seems like gaming might not need encryption since it’s just fun, a lot of apps and games are using certain types of encryption to protect user data. This is especially important for online gambling. Every reputable online casino has an encrypted SSL certificate to ensure the safety of its users. Most of them have at least 128-bit data encryption.
If you access a browser casino and click the padlock next to the URL you should be able to find a “connection secure” notification and a valid SSL certificate along with the issuer’s name. Many downloadable PC and mobile games also feature some sort of encryption if the user has to connect to the internet and perform data transfers. This trend will only continue to grow, especially in the case of peer-to-peer blockchain games.