One of the biggest fears for people to grapple with when they go online and have to enter their personal data or payment information is if their info is going to remain safe.

Normally we’ll think to ourselves, does this website look legit?  Should I be concerned?  How reputable is the website?  Once we get past this checklist and decide we trust the site, we start to wonder if someone is going to steal our valuable information as it’s being sent to the site.  Is the teenager across the street hacking into our WIFI connection? Or worse, maybe a hacker is targeting you.

The good news is that when we send our data, most reputable websites use a form of encryption to transfer your data, which makes it nearly impossible for outsiders to see what you’re sending. Though, what does this actually mean and how does it work?

Let’s first take a look at the definition according to Wikipedia: Encryption is the process of transforming information (referred to as plaintext) using an algorithm (called a cipher) to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a key.

Okay, so this really isn’t going to help most of us.  Let’s instead try to simplify it into something that we can better understand.  Imagine mixing paint together or multiplying big numbers – It’s a pretty easy process to accomplish.  Though, now imagine trying to reverse this process – Ah, not so easy is it!!  Check out this video to help explain this in a bit more detail and much more entertaining then I would have!!


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