A secret is something you know, but would like to keep someone else from knowing. The cynical view is that three can keep a secret when two are dead. But practically speaking, we share secrets all the time.
We get to pick and choose with whom our secrets are to be shared. As long as there is even one person with whom we do not wish to share a piece of information, it is a secret. To that end, we all have secrets.
The thing about secrets is that they can’t be completely inscrutable. They have to be kept in a form where they can be easily retrieved and plainly read. Otherwise, you will find yourself locked out of your own secrets. The challenge is figuring out how to keep secrets accessible to you and a select few, and no one else.
That’s where encryption comes in. It is a way of scrambling your secrets so that you and the people you choose can know the contents. But people outside of the group are locked out for all intents and purposes. While no encryption is perfect, and a person with enough access, time, will and resources can get the information, it is extremely difficult.
A flash key encryption device is one way to keep things locked down. Loading those secrets on a bootable drive with military spec, FIPS certification is a good place to start. You need solutions like this because you have secrets. That is just one reason you should care about encryption. Here are a few others:
Most Companies Are Bad at Keeping Your Secrets
68 million: That is the number of Dropbox user passwords leaked onto the internet due to a hack back in 2012. The extent of the hack just came out within the last couple of weeks. Dropbox likely knew about this for a very long time but didn’t tell users. They recently sent out an email to users about a forced password reset. But even then they were cagey about the reason for the action.
This is typical behavior from companies that do a bad job keeping your secrets. They are silent until caught. They lie about the extent of the situation. Then only partially admit the truth when it hits the news cycle. You have to be concerned about strong encryption because the people you are entrusting with your biggest secrets often aren’t.
Because Companies You Trust Are Often Sold to Companies You Don’t
Messaging apps iMessage and WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted. They are not alone. Secure messaging apps abound. One of the key differences between iMessage and every other secure messaging app is that you can be certain that iMessage will always remain an Apple property. It will never be sold to anyone else.
WhatsApp was one of the most trusted messaging apps in the world. But it was purchased by Facebook: one of the least trusted companies in the world. Despite initial promises to the contrary, WhatsApp is now sharing user data with Facebook.
That means all the information you purposely kept from Facebook but may have had in WhatsApp, like your phone number, now is in the hands of Facebook. That is just one more reason to trust no one today with your secrets who can be sold tomorrow to someone you don’t trust.
You Can’t Trust the Internet of Things
Some of the most innovative tech of 2016 falls into the category known as the internet of things (IoT). Whether it is web-connected water sprinklers or a coffee maker with an IP address. IoT is everywhere
Unfortunately, the IoT is also a collection of some of the most insecure tech ever made. Companies are rushing out products at a break-neck pace in a land grab for consumer dollars, while heedlessly ignoring obvious and basic security protocols. Before you install an IoT door lock, be sure of the encryption.
The reason you should care about encryption is that you have secrets. You have passwords, favorite websites, search history, sexual proclivities, political views, health issues, and countless other things you don’t want other people to know.
At the moment, encryption is the best way to manage those secrets. Be sure everyone with whom you share those secrets is as conscientious and capable of keeping them as you are.