Computer technologies can baffle many individuals. It is easy to understand because many of the underlying technologies are complicated.
However, it is good to have a basic understanding in particular areas and none more so than encryption.
Most users don’t know how often we use encryption daily.
The technical aspects of encryption can be mind-boggling, yet thankfully, most of this is done for us automatically. (Read How to Stop Google Tracking You Online)
At the end of the day, when online, you need to take control of your security, and understanding which systems use which encryption method is a great start.
Here, you can learn all you need to know, besides where you may come across this encryption while you are online.
What are the Types of Encryption Methods?
You won’t find any use in knowing the main encryption methods before understanding what encryption is.
Encryption is a proven way to protect information and not only on the internet. It scrambles text to a form that is only readable by someone with a unique key or password. If you don’t have access to either of these, then it won’t be possible for you to read the data.
Decoding encrypted messages is almost impossible because of the hundreds of combinations and permutations they use for scrambling text.
Encryption is now the accepted and reliable of slowing or preventing cybersecurity threats. Such is the power of these technologies, even governments, and their security agencies deploy these technologies for the protection of national information.
They base encryption on cryptography that stems from thousands of years ago. It was in use by scholars to decipher sacred documents found in scrambled languages, and it was only the ones with the power of decoding, which could read them.
Today, encryption and decryption are done through computing devices, and an encryption algorithm will scramble plain text into something unreadable. Such text may appear like jumbled code, which they can decode back to plain text once the correct key is used.
What are the Three Main Types of Encryption?
You often find three main types of encryption in use for the average person and internet usage.
Here, you find there are DES, AES, and RSA. You can find more, yet these are often older than and not as secure as the three here.
An average person may not see or use this while they are using computing devices. It is more in use for banks and businesses, who use it for personal transactions.
Such encryption was standard in the 1970s and is no longer considered a standalone form of encryption that is safe. It carries out its encryption on 56-bits of data at once.
3DES is a more modern version of a block cipher that is in use. It uses triple data encryption and utilizes three separate 56-bit keys to add three times the protection.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption is commonly utilized by governments and security-related organizations and by mainstream businesses for classified communications. It is easy to see why asymmetric encryption is one of the most secure types of encryption.
AES employs “symmetric” key encryption, where the recipient needs a key to decode it.
AES distinguishes itself from other types of encryption by encrypting data in blocks, rather than individual data bits.
Not only do they all have different block sizes, but also each encryption scheme has a different number of turns. Turns are processes that transform plain text into encrypted data or ciphertext. An AES-128 bit key, for instance, uses ten turns, and an AES-256 bit key uses 14 turns.
You can see here how the size of the blocks sets the names of the different types of the AES encryption method:
- AES-128 will encrypt block sizes of 128-bit size
- AES-192 will encrypt block sizes of 192-bit size
- AES-256 can encrypt blocks of 256-bit size
An alternative and popular encryption standard are “Rivest-Shamir-Adleman” or RSA. RSA is used extensively for data sent online and relies on public key to encrypt data.
The recipients of data have their private key for decoding messages. It is proven a secure way of sending information between individuals who may not be familiar with each other and who want to communicate with each other without compromising personal data.
What Are the Two Main Types of Encryption?
You can find two basic types of cryptographic systems, and comprise the following:
- Private Key – Symmetric
- Public Key Encryption – Asymmetric
Symmetric Key Solutions
Symmetric key solutions demand both the sender and recipient have the same key. The key used by the sender for encrypting data is the same as the one used by the recipient for descrambling the data. The exchange of keys is a clear challenge.
So how can you securely send the key with which other data can be sent securely? Should any private key get intercepted and stolen, the other party can appear as either one of the two parties and see all the data.
You can think of a symmetric encryption solution as a sort of door lock. You have to possess the key to open and lock your door.
Asymmetric Encryption Key Solutions
Asymmetric encryption and decryption systems are seen as considerably more flexible.
Any user has both public and private keys. A message will be encrypted using one key and can be only be decrypted by using the second key.
While the public key can be widely, published, private keys remain secret. If Jane wishes to transmit a secret to David, she will find and verify David’s public key, use it to encrypt her message, and transfer it to David.
Once David receives his message, he uses his private key to decrypt it.
The verification of public keys is a very significant step. If there is no verification of whether the public key belongs to David, the chance remains for Alice to use a key whose associated private key belongs to a hacker.
A public key infrastructure or PKI addresses these problems by allowing certification organizations to provide keys signed by an alleged trusted party for downloading or verification before there are any encryption and decryption.
Asymmetric encryption keys via the encryption algorithms take much longer than their symmetrical equivalents, and the size of keys is generally larger.
You can imagine a public key system similar to self-closing door locks. You can close a door, but you need a key to open it.
What is the Best Type of Encryption?
You will currently find the best encryption algorithm is AES 256-bit. It is military-grade and in use by many VPN service providers.
Here, it is the leading form of encryption by far, and you can find the premium VPN’s use the power of this encryption and decryption to full use. You can use a VPN and be sure your data is safe, and no one can see any of your sensitive data while passes through a secure encrypted tunnel.
Read more: How to Remove Yourself From the Internet