Encryption is the process of coding information so that it becomes unreadable to anyone except those in possession of an associated encryption “key”. The key enables the information to be turned back into readable text.
In our day-to-day lives we mostly encounter encryption on the internet, when the prefix of our browser’s URL suddenly changes to “https”, and when our mobile phones transmit a signal to a tower. This, on the whole, protects us from interception.
Businesses use encryption to protect their corporate secrets and governments use it to secure classified information. In authoritarian countries it protects activists, journalists and human rights defenders. However, if not all data is encrypted, it makes it much easier to identify who these people are. This is one of the many reasons why the encryption of all data is essential.
When you send data to someone over the internet, there are numerous points at which it can be intercepted. Firstly, it goes to your internet service provider (ISP), it then travels along a variety of routes to the intended recipient’s ISP before finally arriving at your correspondent’s computer or device. At any point along this journey, it can be intercepted. Encryption (among other security software and features) prevents an eavesdropper from understanding what they’ve stolen.
The Global System for Mobile Communications, or GSM, is the standard protocol for cellular communications, due mainly to its handset-to-tower encryption capabilities. Once again, encryption is enabled with a secret key that is stored within the SIM card on the user’s mobile device. The user’s carrier network also has a copy of this key, which enables it to decode the encrypted messages.
This, in theory, is an effective technique – but it has flaws. One is that once a GSM phone authenticates itself to the tower, the tower does not need to authenticate itself back; this means that there is the potential for ‘fake’ towers to intercept messages. As the tower gets to pick the encryption algorithm, those operating the ‘fake’ tower can simply switch your encryption off – something that is a growing problem.
If this weren’t enough, there are a whole host of other security flaws with GSM that are enabling hackers, governments and criminal gangs to intercept messages. It’s safe to safe to say that your mobile data is not safe in the current digital climate unless you have taken extra steps to ensure your privacy.
Both HTTPS and handset-to-tower encryption have served us well, but they are now old technologies. As techniques become more sophisticated, these standard encryption methods are not enough. We’ve seen time and time again that multinational corporations are vulnerable to attacks the most recent being Talk Talk, the global communications provider. More than 100 million people’s personal information was accessed illegally – and this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Additionally, it is possible that the Investigatory Powers Act will soon give UK governments the power to access all calls, texts and internet browsing data from citizens living in the UK. As well the police, thieves also want to read your emails, because fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated in their approach to digital crime.
So, with all this in mind, what steps can you take to secure your personal and business data and, more importantly still, your privacy?
The answer is simple – the Pryvate™ app.
Using military grade, end-to-end encryption technology, Pryvate is an application that users can download to their mobile devices for a free 30-day trial. It uses the most secure encryption software currently on the market and covers all digital communication, including voice, instant messaging, emails and texts.
It does so in a way that is much more secure than GMS. Rather than share a key with the mobile provider, Pryvate generates a unique key for every call. This “end-to-end” encryption means that there is no middle man, and no data is ever stored. This makes it impossible to hack, leak, or lose data.
Pryvate is also available for business customers using a VoIP (voice over the internet protocol) telephone system in addition to the app, and a secure web browser will soon be added at no extra cost. The Pryvate app is currently available from the Apple App Store or Google Play – so start your free trial today! For business customers, please follow this link.
Criptyque is mobile telecommuncations company that has recently launched Pryvate – nothing can pry into Pryvate.
Pryvate™ – the mobile security application secures mobile and landline communications across voice, conference calls, video, IM, picture sharing, email, file transfer and file storage. Pryvate is unique in that it encompasses all forms of communication from one familiar GUI. It enables seamless secure communications with military-grade encryption. The app features an anti-blocking mechanism, which prevents authorities from preventing its use. Our email component is beyond the BSI Standards set in Germany and along with our presence feature and low-level bandwidth requirement, ensures global mobile security anywhere on the move (and when static).