For obvious reasons, we want to protect our online activities from unauthorized third parties and keep our personal information secure while using the web. With the rapidly increasing rate of cyber attacks and the invasiveness of the government’s surveillance laws, encrypting our network traffic has become non-negotiable for the safety of our personal information.
You can encrypt your network traffic by providing a secure password for your local Wi-Fi and enabling WPA-2 protection for secure encryption. You can also use a dedicated browser like the Tor browser for data protection and encryption. You can use the HTTPS extension in your browser. The most effective way to encrypt your network traffic is to use a VPN.
We will address the meaning of encryption and why you need to encrypt your network traffic. We will also explain five ways to encrypt your network traffic and protect your personal information from intruders.
- What Is Encryption?
- Why You Should Encrypt Your Network Traffic
- Five Ways To Encrypt Your Network Traffic
- Wrapping Up
What Is Encryption?
Since the internet is a public space, encryption is the only way to keep our activities and personal information on the web private. Encryption uses multiple advanced algorithms to make a message unreadable to everyone except the intended recipient. This is to protect sensitive information from being accessed by intruders.
Why You Should Encrypt Your Network Traffic
There is hardly any activity that you cannot carry out online. While the internet has made our activities easier, it has also increased our susceptibility to attacks. Since we keep our personal information online, we must ensure it is secure.
The following are reasons why we should encrypt our network traffic.
To Protect Your Personal Information From Hackers
There is no shortage of hackers online, so if you think most hackers are concerned with high-profile users only, you need to change your perspective. If you don’t protect your personal information, you risk being a victim of scammers or hackers.
Hackers can access your unprotected personal information, including bank information, and steal your money. They may also use your personal information to scam your friends and family. Encryption is the only way to avoid this.
To Escape the Surveillance of Government Agencies
To most government agencies, online privacy is a myth, and their surveillance laws are a testament to that fact. Some government agencies are more subtle in their approach and track your activities on the internet without clamping down on the users.
Some countries are more brutal in their approach and impose many restrictions on their people while using the internet. To avoid being caught breaking the law, you must encrypt your network traffic.
To Hide Your Online Activities From Your ISP
Compared to the first two reasons, this one isn’t as dangerous. However, it is just as inconvenient. You must have seen several related ads on your browser just a few minutes after searching for something on the internet.
This is because your online activities are being monitored by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and sold to advertisers and marketing agencies. To make matters worse, several countries, including the United States of America, have laws permitting ISPs to sell your internet data to advertisers. If this makes you uncomfortable, encrypt your network traffic.
Five Ways To Encrypt Your Network Traffic
We’ve devised five effective ways to encrypt your network traffic and protect your personal information from intruders.
Password Protection for Your Local Wi-Fi
This is the first step in protecting your personal information from intruders. Leaving your home network without a password allows any stranger to connect to it and exploit any loopholes in the security to take control of your network and access your personal information.
Make sure you change the default manufacturer password, which is often generic, and set a new strong password. Then sign in to your router’s admin panel through your web browser, open the “Wireless Network Configuration” panel in the settings menu, and enable WPA-2 protection for secure encryption.
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. It uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption mechanism to secure your data transmission while using a website. You can check if HTTPS is enabled on a website by checking the website URL.
To protect yourself, add the HTTPS Everywhere extension to your browser. It works well with Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
This free software application uses three layers of encryption to help you maintain anonymity over the internet and protect you from intruders. It also clears your cookies and browsing history immediately after you finish working. The only downside is that your internet speed is reduced while using the browser.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Using VPN is the most effective way to encrypt your network traffic. VPN masks your IP address to prevent anyone from monitoring your online activities. It also helps you bypass restrictions on the internet and protect your internet data.
To get the best protection from your VPN, you have to pay for it. The free VPNs are unreliable, and if you’re serious about protecting your private information online and masking your identity, you must subscribe to a reliable paid VPN service. Luckily, you can use your subscription on multiple devices.
End-to-End Encryption Message Services
Your SMS texts are not encrypted, and your ISPs and government agencies can monitor them. Use messaging apps that offer end-to-end encryption message services like WhatsApp and Viber. These apps ensure that third parties cannot intercept the data transferred from a sender to a receiver.
For your safety, privacy, and peace of mind, you must explore all the means at your disposal to encrypt your network traffic. The more secure you are, the better. So, you might want to combine any or all of the encryption methods we suggested above.