In a world where hacks have become all too common, it is essential people understand the importance of adequate password and security measures. Today, many conduct banking and other sensitive activities online. While this is vastly beneficial in streamlining a lot of processes, it also leaves people susceptible to having their details compromised.

Modern cryptography and data encryption methods have their origins rooted in “Pretty Good Privacy” (PGP), a concept created by Philip Zimmerman, a former special director of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPRS). His initial conceptions aimed to broaden people’s understanding of privacy in an increasingly digital world. PGP generates two unique encryption keys written in alphanumeric characters. One of them encrypts data while the other is used to decode the information. In effect, this means only the user, or somebody with access to the keys, can decrypt and view the information.

Cryptography is a modern extension of the principles outlined by PGP and it offers superior protection. One cryptographic algorithm is SHA-256 and this encrypts data in an alphanumeric string of 256 bits. In turn, it is difficult to crack, as it would require significance brute force to solve a given encryption using this algorithm. To date, it has not publicly been compromised.

The banking industry is one that has become increasingly reliant on such technology. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) will, typically, encrypt a user’s pin number when they input it to make a withdrawal. Proposals have been made relating to cryptography and security in the banking sector that want to implement measures that would require a user’s fingerprint to be scanned before their account can be accessed.

Given that most people often look for the quickest and most convenient way to achieve something, they don’t contemplate the risks of not securing their data. For example, there are more than 400 million people who use Google for emailing, yet they do not realize in using the platform, they waive their right to data privacy. It is scenarios like this that underpin the significant in learning more about protecting your personal information when using online services.

Many industries who deal with heavy volumes of financial data rely on data encryption methods to ensure their security is not compromised. However, individuals themselves often understate the importance of such measures.

One such example is the foreign exchange trading market, or forex, which focuses on trading currency pairs as a means of investment. Many traders utilize online platforms to carry out their trades through brokers that not only offer deals such as a no deposit bonus for forex newcomers but also ensure the security of their platform is never compromised. However, despite such measures, it remains important that the users themselves encrypt their passwords and enable other security measures such as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).

Failure to secure their accounts can lead to significant issues if a bad actor is looking to compromise them. The same is also true for anyone who banks or shops online. Enabling methods like 2FA ensures no transaction can be completed without a second layer of confirmation from the user’s end.

While banks, governments and e-commerce sites are more frequently encrypting data, there is still room for error. As such, it is imperative that you too take similar measures to help secure the data that is rightfully yours.