* Encryption scrambles your data so people can’t see what you’re doing
* More sites and services are beginning to offer encryption by default
* Possible ISP deregulations means encryption is more important
Last summer, the FBI ordered Apple to unlock an iPhone that was used in a terror attack in San Bernardino. The request sparked controversy on both sides of the political fence. Naturally, Apple refused.
Apple’s defense was simple — they said it wasn’t possible. The FBI obviously knew this, so instead of trying to decipher Apple’s code, they attempted to force Apple to build ‘backdoors’ into their devices. This way, the FBI could hack a person’s phone without having to worry about encrypted files. Again, Apple refused.
While this case opened a can of worms regarding government overreach, it made thing adamantly clear: encryption works.
Now, as the U.S. Senate plans to effectively deconstruct the way people’s online data is collected, the whole debate over encryption finds a renewed vigor. Luckily, encryption is on the rise. More sites are switching to HTTPS encryption to automatically scramble a visitor’s data. In fact, a recent report shows nearly half of all websites today are implementing HTTPS (as opposed to the non-secure HTTP standard) to automatically scramble web data. That’s nearly a 20% jump over last year.
Note that while HTTPS doesn’t prevent your ISP from seeing which sites and services you use, it does prevent them from seeing specific sections of websites you’re visiting.
Your privacy is important, so before you visit a new site, check to see if it has HTTPS in the URL. Also, make sure your phone and tablet and any other IoT device are encrypted too. Your ISP already has enough dirt on you, you don’t want to give them more.