Encryption and Privacy

Here’s looking at you (and your information) kid

By Sophie Ogden - 27/06/2018

Security

What is Encryption?

Simply put, encryption is the process of encoding messages and/or information, don’t be scared by the terminology, it’s actually a fairly simple concept to grasp. If you’ve ever done a puzzle or tried to decipher a code then you can easily understand how encryption works.

The cipher is the encryption key, the encryption key is what is required to allow the person receiving the message to decipher the message.

When you send your information or messages to other people online it is shown as a series of letters, numbers and characters, gibberish to most people, so, in order to decode this gibberish, you need the encryption key.

There are two main types of encryption: Symmetric Key Encryption and Public Key Encryption (also known as Asymmetric).

The Symmetric Key Encryption uses the same key for encrypting and decrypting. It is known as the ‘secret’ key because only the sender and receiver know what this key is, this is the protect the confidentiality of both parties.

The Public key Encryption uses different keys for encrypting and decrypting, one is private and one is public. The public one can be accessed by anyone, hence the name ‘public key’, however, this public key can only be deciphered with the corresponding private key. There are also different levels of encryption some of the highest are 128-bit and 256-bit. The higher the number the longer the encryption key will be, which in theory, makes the security higher.

But why do we need encryption?

In short, we need encryption to protect ourselves and our sensitive information from being stolen or seen by the wrong people. If you go onto a secure website, say your banking website, you should see a green lock at the front of the web address this means it is secured by HTTPS, which offers you encrypted browsing and guaranteed safety when entering sensitive information.

Do you want people looking at your messages or stealing your card details? No? So, in that case, you need this type of security in order to protect you and your details.

Most popular apps make use of encryption to retain user safety, whether that’s for storing data, or for data in transit.

Unfortunately, like everything, nothing is unhackable, but the bit size will affect the amount of time it takes the hacker to figure out the algorithm. Hackers use a method called ‘Brute force’ in which they will just randomly guess the key until they obtain the right combination, depending on the length this could take hundreds of years to break. Alternative methods of breaking a cipher include side-channel attacks and cryptanalysis.

The real challenge lies in keeping encryption as tight as possible, therefore you must check it is properly implemented and kept secure over time, most errors, unfortunately, are down to humans.

Why do we need privacy?

If we freely give out our information should we be angry when people take advantage of us? Is it us that needs more restraint when it comes to how we use our data? 

Julie Cohen makes an excellent point about ‘the self’ in her paper on Privacy and Visibility:

“You might think it is a good idea to willfully hand over your data in exchange for personalised coupons or promotions or to broadcast your location to friends. But consumption -- perusing a store and buying stuff -- and quiet, alone time are both important parts of how we define ourselves. If how we do that becomes subject to ever-present monitoring it can, if even unconsciously, change our behaviours and self-perception.” -Julie Cohen, Privacy, Visibility, transparency and exposure

We are different people when under surveillance than we are alone. Cohen's argument illuminates how the breathing room provided by privacy is essential to being a complete, fulfilled person.

Cohen states: “A commercial culture that sees privacy as threatening its own valued practices of knowledge production will register privacy regulation as a threat.”

In hindsight, privacy is subjective and each individual will rate their level differently. For some people, giving out their name will be an invasion of privacy whereas others are happy to hand over their email address, phone number and even card details. As individuals we each have a different moral compass that guides us, influenced by both social and environmental aspects.

Which way does your compass point? Are you careful about the information you post online or do you want up to date features catered to your needs? 

Security is needed, but at what cost?






 

Welcome to the Cyanstone Technology Blog

Welcome to the Cyanstone Technology Blog

Our blog is designed to help you discover the latest technologies and keep you up to date with what’s happening in the Cyanstone office.

Read More
04/06/2018
What is Cryptocurrency and where did it start?

What is Cryptocurrency and where did it start?

In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin the first realised form of Cryptocurrency. Initially, Bitcoin caused a stir with its revolutionary approach to virtual transactions. If you have been newly introduced to this currency, you may not be aware of the

Read More
11/06/2018
14 tips on how to run a successful startup company

14 tips on how to run a successful startup company

All of the points mentioned below are subjective to each individual company as each one is different. However, everyone needs a place to

Read More
18/06/2018
What is GDPR and why should I care?

What is GDPR and why should I care?

The new GDPR regulation became applicable to companies on the 25th of May 2018.

Read More
09/07/2018
20 new Instagram features and what they do

20 new Instagram features and what they do

If you use Instagram daily, like me, then I’m sure you will have noticed that the design has changed and new features have been added. But what has changed?

Read More
23/07/2018
What happened at Google I/O

What happened at Google I/O

Do you want to know what happened at this year's Google I/O? What is the latest tech? Take a look at the latest innovations by Google.

Read More
26/06/2018
What has been happening at Cyanstone Technology

What has been happening at Cyanstone Technology

What have we been doing this month? Come and explore our June/July 2018 update

Read More
10/07/2018
How to choose the best music streaming service for you

How to choose the best music streaming service for you

We all love listening to music but with so many music streaming applications to choose from, which one is right for you?

Read More
06/08/2018
Can Blockchain help keep us safe

Can Blockchain help keep us safe

Blockchain is a new phenomenon that has taken over the media and the Cryptocurrency world. But can this new system be applied to other things apart from Crypto? The short answer is yes, it can.

Read More
23/07/2018
11 new features on iOS 12

11 new features on iOS 12

On June 25th, Apple rolled out the iOS 12 Beta to the public - but what's new?

Read More
25/07/2018
Want to build a Chatbot?

Want to build a Chatbot?

For those people out there who have no coding experience (like me) and wouldn’t know where on earth to start (like me) --  don’t worry. Here's what I did...

Read More
02/08/2018
What are the differences in the big cap Cryptocurrencies

What are the differences in the big cap Cryptocurrencies

This post is designed to give you a brief overview of the ‘big caps’ or ‘large caps’ if you are not aware this term refers to a company with a market capitalisation value of more than $10 billion.

Read More
28/08/2018
Is Blockchain better

Is Blockchain better

When it comes to transacting money or anything of value, people and businesses have relied heavily on intermediaries such as banks and governments to guarantee trust and certainty when dealing with their money. But why can't we use Blockchain?

Read More
17/09/2018
Google Pixel 3 XL

Google Pixel 3 XL

TECH NEWS When will we see the Google Pixel 3 XL? And what features will it have?

Read More
29/08/2018
The new Titan Security key from Google

The new Titan Security key from Google

Google’s Titan security key is now available on the Google store priced at $50 for the full kit. What does it do you ask? Well, here’s the low down...

Read More
30/08/2018
An exciting announcement!

An exciting announcement!

Here at Cyanstone Technology, we have an exciting announcement to make!

Read More
19/09/2018
The rise of IM

The rise of IM

Why do we use Instant Messengers?

Read More
01/10/2018
Introducing Be.Chat

Introducing Be.Chat

As some of you will know here at Cyanstone Technology we have been in the midst of developing a brand new multi-platform application.

Read More
04/10/2018
7 reasons why you need a business focused messaging app

7 reasons why you need a business focused messaging app

A lot of employees nowadays are working remotely, whether they are employed full-time or contracted. And so, keeping in touch is more important than ever.

Read More
15/10/2018
Cyanstone Update Sept/Oct

Cyanstone Update Sept/Oct

What has been happening in the company this month...

Read More
22/10/2018
How to choose a crypto wallet

How to choose a crypto wallet

There are several factors you need to take into account when it comes to Cryptocurrency wallets, the main issue here is security

Read More
30/10/2018
Coinbase Convert

Coinbase Convert

Coinbase users can now begin trading cryptocurrencies directly with other cryptocurrencies.

Read More
19/12/2018
Cyanstone Update 2018

Cyanstone Update 2018

What happened at Cyanstone Technology in 2018 and what do we have in store for the new year...

Read More
19/12/2018
How to get the most out of Be.Chat

How to get the most out of Be.Chat

How to use Be.Chat in order to gain the most out of it! What can you do to utilise your new app?

Read More
03/01/2019
What does the Crypto market look like in 2019

What does the Crypto market look like in 2019

Cryptocurrency has already commanded a huge audience and shown us ways in which we can use the underlying blockchain functionality to improve current systems. But what could we actually expect from cryptocurrency moving into 2019, having seen its benefits

Read More
18/01/2019

© Copyright Cyanstone Technology Ltd. 2018.  |  Privacy policy  |  Terms of Use