Encrypted data is usually associated with additional security and protection of privacy. Even when a hacker or a malicious actor obtains access to encrypted data, they might still never be able to read it. This is why more and more users are caring about the encryption of their data. But an increase in popularity should also make you notice an issue of encrypted data reset. In this article we will simply explain what that is and how it works, and why it is necessary.
What is encrypted data - an overview
First things first. We should explain what exactly encrypted data is. In simple words, encrypted data is any data that has been processed by an algorithm - a cipher - to make it unreadable for anyone who doesn't have a key to decrypt it. The key is, essentially, a password, needed to decipher and decrypt the data, make it readable.
Here's a simplified chart, showing how encryption and decryption of data happens online or in any digital median.
One of the most advanced encryption standards nowadays is the AES-256 standard, used by governments, Fortune 500 companies, and the Kraden app. If you want to know more about it, we wrote an entire article that you can read (Click here
Resetting encrypted data - why is it necessary?
We reset encrypted data for the same reason we reset any other type of data - to protect our privacy and security. When resetting, all traces of encrypted users' data are removed from devices, servers, or other storage. This means that even if someone were to hack into servers, they would not be able to access any user data, as it would no longer be stored there.
The most common causes for resets of encrypted data are: remote wipe triggers, duress code triggers, forgotten passwords and otherwise compromised accounts. If you want to protect your account or move over from an account whose credentials you forgot or lost, resetting the encrypted data is a must-do. Here's how you can handle encrypted data resets.
A remote wipe is a very helpful feature to have.
It can be set up on almost any platform, app or system by an administrator in order to protect user's, company or other party's data. If someone forgets their credentials, loses their device or if it gets stolen, a remote wipe can help remotely trigger a reset of all data on the device and/or server, including encrypted data, in order to prevent any possible breach and/or exploit.
Kraden has a remote wipe feature that you can use.
A duress code is a code - usually, similar to a PIN or password - which, when entered, signals to the system that the user is under duress and/or their account has been compromised. Once this code is entered, it triggers a reset of all data on the device and/or server, again including encrypted data. This is usually used as a last resort measure to prevent break-ins and/or breaches, as well as exploits. We wrote an entire article on the benefits and uses of this tool (Click here to read it
Kraden also has a duress code feature, as you can probably figure out.
A reset can also be triggered manually, by the user, if they forget their credentials or otherwise want to move to a new account. This is usually done by going into the settings of the platform, app or system in question and finding an option to reset data.
What happens when you reset encrypted data?
When resetting encrypted data, all user data will be removed from the device and/or server. This includes any logs, records and metadata, as well as the encryption keys needed to decrypt it. This means that even if someone were to hack into the system, they would not be able to access any user data, as it would no longer be stored. Removing encrypted data is the last instance of removing any traces and remnants of user data, making any kind of tracking or tracing absolutely impossible.
What if you don't remember your password and credentials at all or lost your phone? Well, we have some good news for Kraden users. The app has something called inactivity wipe triggered by default, protecting your and everyone else's privacy. Inactivity wipe works by resetting all data, including encrypted data, if the app hasn't been used for a certain period of time. The default inactivity wipe timeframe can be changed in the app settings, according to your needs and preferences.
When should you initiate encrypted data resets?
As we've mentioned before, resetting encrypted data is usually done as a last resort measure to prevent any possible breaches or exploits. In most cases, resetting encrypted data will also reset all other data on the device and/or server, so it's important to only do this when absolutely necessary. It's usually an irreversible action that may also result in the total termination of your account, prompting you to purchase a new subscription or make a new account.
The most common reasons for encrypted data resets:
- If you forget your credentials and/or password and can't reset them;
- If your account gets hacked or compromised in any way;
- If you lose your device or it gets stolen.
We hope this article was helpful in explaining what resetting encrypted data actually is and when you should do it. Keep in mind that you should expect as much of your data to be encrypted, as possible. Even when that data is targeted by malicious actors, if it's properly encrypted, they won't be able to read it and benefit from the leak or hack. Trigger the reset only when there's no other way to protect your data or you've committed to moving on from your apps, platforms, etc. as this action is irreversible.