You probably know from real-life experiences that once you say things, it's hard to take them back. Thus, we think about what we say to avoid something negative being used against us or to exploit our vulnerabilities, fears, etc. However, once we move on to digital communication, our fears significantly decrease. And that's quite important because a lot of what you say, think and share on social media can be traced back to you personally.
This is primarily used for ad targeting. Social media platforms and big data companies exploit our behavior patterns for profit, but such data can also become an allure for blackmailing, phishing fraud, and many more wrongdoings. However, all of this can be prevented with end-to-end encryption of messages. In this article, we will talk about end-to-end encryption, how it works, why you need it, and what are its benefits.
What is end-to-end (e2e) encryption? An explanation
End-to-end encryption is a communication protocol that ensures only the intended recipients can read and see the contents of a message. It's also sometimes labeled as "truly private messaging" or "secure messaging". As the name of the protocol suggests, the messages are encrypted from start to finish. This means that all intermediaries or 3rd parties (everyone apart from the sender and the intended recipient) can only see encrypted content. Decoding it is a very very difficult (almost impossible with good cryptography) process, hence it is super secure and ensures total privacy.
To understand how things work and where your security can be exploited, let's take a look at an example:
On a regular, non-e2e encrypted messenger, whatever you send, gets transferred to a server, is stored there, and then, shared with the intended recipient. The contents of your messages are filed and stored in some kind of server, drive, etc. If someone from inside wanted to see what you said or received, they could. By merely looking at the database, people can see what you sent and received, plain and simple. The same applies for hackers, who break into such servers and databases.
The risk of such leaks and exploitations of content led to the creation of end-to-end encryption in messaging. Here's how that works:
Suppose Alice wants to send a message to Bob. She encrypts the message with a key that is only available on hers and Bob's device. When the message reaches Bob, the app/device uses the same key to decrypt it. This is an example of symmetric-key cryptography, which is the basis for most e2e encryption algorithms. A more visual representation.
Benefits of end-to-end encryption
Now that we understand what is end-to-end encryption, let's take a look at some of its benefits:
Total privacy and security: As we've mentioned earlier, messages are encrypted from start to finish. On most social media apps and regular messengers, they are not. This means that when contents are e2e encrypted, no one apart from the sender and recipient can view what's said or sent - not even the platform/server the message is transferred on.
Prevents hacks and exploits: As we also mentioned earlier, when messages are sent without e2e encryption, they are stored in a server (or a number of servers). This means that they are vulnerable to hacks and exploits. If someone breaks into these servers, they can gain access to all the messages stored there - including yours.
Safer for businesses: In the past, businesses have been reluctant to use messaging apps for fear of their data being leaked. This concept is a huge game changer, as all types of employees and even decision-makers can discuss deals, push forward on projects and do it in full confidence.
Better when sharing sensitive info: when you are in a position where your digital activities can be monitored by 3rd parties or governments, you should do all that is in your power to protect your thoughts and freedom. E2E encryption won't allow even powerful trackers to see what these messages contain.
How can leaked messages harm you personally or hurt your business?
Although a lot of people understand the benefit of encrypted messaging, they are still reluctant to switch from risky communication channels. This has a lot to do with the fact that they think data leaks won't affect them directly (e.g. someone else will get exposed, but not them) and even in the case of them being exposed, no real damage will be felt. That's a great underestimation, especially with the scope of phishing
and data breaches that are going on.
This means that nearly 300 thousand data records are compromised every hour. It's really something worth noting as protecting your privacy and property is something that shouldn't be taken lightly.
For starters, your message leaks can be traced back to you and harm your personal and/or professional reputation. This is crucial if you're thinking about your next career move, discussing new arrangements, having disagreements with someone at work that's in a higher-up position or even are trying to report something suspicious or criminal that might need investigating. Even if you're right, some information and communication must remain private to ensure justice and total security. Leaks are just unacceptable.
Secondly, leaks in business cause damage to the value of the company, the synergy and can discourage the general public, potential investors, partners, employees. If managers or decision-makers want to take a less conventional approach or a more bold decision, but a plan is not yet fully devised, leaks can be exploited by your competitors to prevent you from getting an edge.
Finally, in some countries, encrypting your messages results in better personal security. Wherever freedom of speech is restricted, people should invest even more into communication measures that prevent mass tracking and censorship.
What other measures help protect your privacy online?
End-to-end encryption is vital and very important to the digital privacy of any user or user group. However, by itself, it's still not enough to protect your digital data. You need to be aware of how your privacy may be breached, and what other threats can you be vulnerable to.
First - use a VPN when connecting to the internet. This makes it harder to pinpoint your location for hackers and cyber criminals, as well as government organizations. Even though this protective measure isn't bulletproof, it's still quite effective against most common forms of cyber attacks.
Don't reuse passwords and utilize password generators. There is a geometric progression of how much more difficult hacking your password becomes, once you include more symbols, uppercase, and lowercase letters, numbers, etc.. This means that it is definitely worth doing. Password generators only require you to remember a single password in order to have access to each and every one of your services.
Also, diversify your social media usage and don't connect all of your accounts to one email. In case of your email getting hacked, you won't be at risk of losing everything at once. Delete cookies, temporary files and browsing history on a regular basis. Be careful when opening emails and attachments, even if they seem legitimate. Don't ever trust links from unknown sources and never enter sensitive login information via links received from emails or SMS messages.
Enable two-factor authentication where possible. 2FA is really crucial because it prevents exploitation. In order to access your accounts, a hacker must have both the knowledge and the possession of your personal items. That is much harder to do, even though it's very simple to set-up and utilize.
Kraden messaging app - end-to-end encryption for everyone
Kraden utilizes cutting-edge 256-bit encryption for its contents. Furthermore, Kraden servers won't store any messages, hence data leaks are both highly unlikely and won't be beneficial to the hackers as they won't have anything to decipher.
offers end-to-end encryption for all of its users, making it a safe and secure platform for everyone's digital communication. Both for private and business customers.
What's different about Kraden is that set up won't require any personal data upon sign-up, nor use. This means that accounts are completely free of links to your personal or business identity. Even in the case of an almost improbable data leak from your device, your message contents will remain encrypted and private.
So, as we’ve established, data encryption is the gateway to ensure whatever you do, send or share online is much better protected. End-to-end encryption is one of the most advanced cryptographic solutions for encrypting messages and communications on various devices and platforms. If you truly seek a private and secure messaging experience, look for apps like Kraden, those that implement E2E encryption!