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Do you know what encryption means? Have any clue how important it is to your IT security? Whether you've heard about it or not, this is one of those important IT terms you should pay close attention to. If you haven't a clue what we're talking about, worry not, we've explained all you need to know below.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is the process which enables the conversion of data or information into code to prevent it from being accessible by outside parties. We have found that encryption works bests if it is both wide-spread and automatic.

How Does Encryption Work?

Encryption works by scrambling content so that only a recipient with the right key will be able to unscramble the encrypted data and read the information. For someone within your core business to even encrypt a message, you need to have the right key. The recipient of your message must also have the right key for him or her to decrypt, and therefore read, the message.

Encryption can be likened to a process by which people send secret messages between each other so that if a third party tries to eavesdrop or pry, they wouldn't be able to understand the content of the message being shared. It's a classic children's made-up language situation! Accordingly, this is one of the safest and cost-effective ways of exchanging both corporate and personal information without risk of being intercepted by third parties. Why do we say cost effective? Because, as you'll read below, paying for encryption services is less expensive than paying ransom for a hacker to decrypt your data!

What are the Different Types of Encryption?

There are two main methods of encryption that you can use. These include:

  • Symmetric encryption - sender and recipient have the same key for encrypting and decrypting data.
  • Asymmetric encryption - sender uses a public key to encrypt data, while recipient uses a private key to decrypt the data.

Key Benefits of Encryption

  • Can help to safeguard your data and network from hackers.
  • Can help to protect your identity and privacy online.

Unfortunately, this is a mechanism that hackers can use too. Metaphorically, encryption is the ball and you want your team to have it. If you don't have your IT security tightened, hackers can take YOUR data and encrypt it, taking away your business' operation abilities. This means they'll also have the key to decrypt the data as well! How will you regain access? Paying them ransom. Whether you pay or not, you could experience extreme data loss. But that is a whole other web of messes you can learn more about here: How IT Services Can Protect You From Ransomware | Partners Plus, Inc.

Just know this: if your data is already encrypted, it'll be illegible to hackers and therefore, THEY can't encrypt it themselves. As an outsourced IT company, we try to motivate people to be on the defensive--being proactive on a day to day basis--instead of reactive. Encrypting your data is one way to do so. This is much better than dealing with disaster recovery!

Need computer support to learn how to encrypt your data or connection? Feel free to contact us. Partners Plus is a leading IT support services provider in Delaware and Pennsylvania with decades of experience helping small to medium businesses (SMBs) address their IT security concerns and reduce risks.

headshot, owner, president, author, partners plus, IT company, IT services, SSD, recommendationBill Hogan is the Owner and President of Partners Plus. He has 40 years of experience in the technology services industry, specifically small business IT support. Bill has spoken at seminars all over the country about network management and published his latest book in 2018. Partners Plus was selected by PHL17 as the best Computer and Information Technology Support Company in the greater Philadelphia area in 2018.