Encryption has become a major debate recently. Recently, Apple wrote an open letter to the US government, explaining why forcing companies to insert a back-door could be a bad idea.
Today, most devices utilise some form of encryption to protect your information, and they’ve been getting better and better. But is Encryption necessary? Well, yes. It is necessary. For basic you can say, it is necessary to stop having your data misused.
Many new Android phones, for example, can require a password before they even turn on, which is a lifesaver if your phone falls into the wrong hands. You can think of encryption as a lock for your digital life.
As soon as you lock your device, everything will stay nice and secure thanks to encryption, unless you happen to have the key. This key can take a few forms, from a simple 4-digit PIN, a more elaborate password, or even your fingerprint.
Just like the difference between an old school key and a high-tech retina scanner though, your choice of password matters.
If you have a 4-digit PIN of “1234” it would be able to be cracked almost instantly, where a longer phrase like “hey guys keep visiting SuratNow” would essentially never be able to be brute forced. This is because passwords get exponentially more difficult to break, the more complex they are.
With a four digit number there are only 10,000 possible combinations, where a phrase like “hey guys keep visiting SuratNow” has 1526 septillion different possibilities. That’s a number with 24 zeros behind it, so good luck guessing.
On the iPhone, there’s one more safeguard: a self-destruct button. With the “Erase Data” option enabled, after 10 failed passcode attempts, the phone will throw away the encryption key and reset, making your information essentially impossible to recover.
It’s important to remember, this isn’t foolproof; it only applies to data that’s on your phone. As soon as you upload something to an online account, you don’t own the key anymore.
Most companies like Google and Microsoft have good track records of keeping your information safe, but if they don’t control the key to your data it doesn’t matter.
There are multiple laws in the works that would force companies to leave in a back door to unlock phones. Which means that will make your Data insecure.
In certain situations this could be a good thing, specially when it is being used by some terrorists or any other criminal. With their data in the hand of the government, government can stop their illegal activities.
But it’s the equivalent of leaving your back door open, you never know who might take advantage. That means anyone can misuse that back door to access your private and confidential data, which makes it a worst case scenario.
With so much of our lives in the digital world, strong encryption is incredibly important to have any sense of security. The next time someone asks why encryption matters, show them this. Agree or disagree, at least understand why it’s important.
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