What is Encryption? – Lessons Learnt for Encryption Day (21st October)

Encryption is the process of scrambling information so that it can only be read by those who have access to the keys to unscramble it.
End-to-End (E2E) encryption provides the strongest level of security and trust, because ideally only the intended recipient holds the key to decrypt the message.

1. Lessons from Understanding Encryption: The Connections to Survivor Safety:

• Use of encryption by victims of sexual abuse, violence etc can help these survivors in their relocation for safety from the abuser without alerting them.
• The use of encryption in the legal system can help preserve the integrity of the evidence being presented before the court.
• Encrypting your private data when in transit or at rest can help prevent unauthorized access to your private data without permission from you.
• Advocating for the use of stronger encryption polices will go a long way to ensure our digital security.
• The use of encryption can help victims of sexual abuse, violence etc to report their abusers and for them to be brought before the law for punishment.

2. Lessons from 3 Ways to ACT so your life won’t be hacked :

• The need to use strong and hard-to guess passwords.
• The need to keep our systems (phones, laptops and all electronic gadgets) that require updates to be kept up to date.
• Using two factor authentication (2FA) or even multi-factor authentication.
• Using end-to-end encryption based applications. eg. Signal messaging app.
• Turn on erase-data options on smartphones, if you have the option.


3. Lessons from Working From Home: Seven easy ways to keep you and your workplace safe online :

• When working in the house, keep Smart Assistants out or put them off.
• Use unique passwords for all your accounts.
• Choose online services or applications that promotes strong encryption.
• Keep your software and systems up to date at all times.
• If possible use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for your work and home network.

4. Lessons from Virtual schooling: 11 ways to keep your child safe online :

• Keep Smart Assistants out of the room or turned off during classes hours.
• Using different and unique passwords for each account.
• Using Search Engines and Browsers that respect people’s privacy. Eg. Tor Browser and DuckDuckGo Search engine.
• Use two-factor authentication for sensitive online accounts. Eg. E-Mail
• Back up important files on different drive not connected to a network.

5. Lessons from Factsheet For Policymakers: 6 Ways “Lawful Access” Puts Everyone’s Security At Risk :

• Accepting “Lawful Access” undermines the security of a system and puts us all in danger of being hacked or attacked.
• Lowering encryption puts Journalists, whistle blowers, activists, undercover agents etc at risk of being exposed.
• Allowing “Lawful access” by making systems less secure could unintentionally lead to Identity theft, blackmail etc
• Lowering secure systems will force terrorists to move to different platforms and this will unintentionally leave the normal civilians vulnerable instead.
• “Lawful Access” basically lowers everyone’s safety in the digital world.