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Traffic Encryption: How to Encrypt Your Internet Connection

Introduction

Encrypting traffic is a vital part of staying safe when navigating the internet. Whether you wish to keep personal information private, secure your financial details, or just remain anonymous, traffic encryption is an essential part of everyday internet use. In this article, we will show you how to encrypt your internet traffic with confidence.

Why Should You Encrypt Your Internet Traffic?

Encrypting your internet traffic means keeping your personal information secure and away from prying eyes. Whether you are shopping, gaming, or simply browsing, using an unencrypted internet connection allows third parties to access your data. This leaves users potentially vulnerable to theft of their personal, login, and financial details. Internet Service Providers (ISP) in some countries employ traffic monitoring and are able to sell browsing data to advertisers for profit. Even if your internet use is entirely innocent, your data is a valuable commodity, and you might reasonably wish to keep it private. Luckily, there are a host of ways to secure your web traffic and keep your details away from the eyes of intruders, ISPs, or government agencies.

Encrypt Your Network

Encrypting your network should be the first step to adding a layer of security to your online traffic. It will not make your internet connection impervious, but it is a simple action that anyone can take and should always be your de facto choice for your personal connection. Check your router settings and ensure that your WIFI has a password. Make sure that your password is relatively complex, with a mixture of upper and lower case letters and special characters. That will help secure your traffic and provide an initial layer of security. When using public networks, avoid connecting your device to open networks and only use the most trusted sources to ensure safer online traffic.

Use a Reliable VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows users to send and receive data across a public or shared network as if they were using a private one. It is arguably the most straightforward way to provide traffic encryption and, luckily, is arguably the most effective, too. A VPN works by encrypting traffic on your device, transmitting via a server where it is decrypted, then sent to the recipient. A VPN is a robust and simple way to encrypt online traffic and can be installed easily. There is a large range of VPN options available, both free to use and subscription services, so you should have no difficulty in finding one to suit your needs.

Use HTTPS Websites

You may have noticed that some website URLs begin with HTTPS, rather than HTTP. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and means that the website in question uses an encryption and authentication method to make sure that network traffic has not been breached. If you are ever required to provide personal data on a website, make sure it is using HTTPS before proceeding. This is particularly important if you are providing financial details or using online banking. Otherwise, there is a greater possibility that unencrypted traffic may be breached, and your financial details put at risk. If in doubt, look for browser extensions that force HTTPS-capable websites to use traffic encryption and give you extra peace of mind.

Use a Tor Browser

Using a Tor browser is another convenient method of providing an additional layer of security to your internet traffic. Tor, which stands for The Onion Router, is a free and open-sourced software built specifically for anonymous communication. The network is made up of more than six thousand volunteer-operated relay connections that are used to encrypt and anonymize a user’s traffic. This provides a huge amount of encryption and effectively guarantees that your IP address, online activity, and traffic will remain anonymous. This level of anonymity comes with a drawback, though. The exhaustive process of relays means that working online can be very slow when compared to a non-Tor browser. For that reason, you may want to use a Tor alongside a conventional browser when working with data traffic that is not security-critical.

Encrypted Messaging Apps

Many messaging services are mindful that their users value the privacy of their traffic, and so offer end-to-end encrypted services. Encrypted instant messaging services provide the sender and the recipient of the message with public and private keys. This allows them to decode the message and ensures that no third parties have the capacity to view it. This is a great way of ensuring your traffic and connections are secure. Like VPNs, there is a wide range of encrypted instant messaging services available, so you should have no trouble finding the perfect solution to ensuring safe and secure traffic. Additionally, there are comparable email platforms that offer extra layers of anonymity for their clients. There are even services offering temporary email addresses or messages that delete themselves after a specific amount of time. These “burner” email services are also a useful tool in giving yourself an extra layer of security online.

Use Software to Encrypt Your Files

Securing both your traffic and connections is crucial to staying protected online, but so is encryption of your files. This applies to both online and offline activity, so you should investigate specialist software to make sure your files are securely locked away. Encrypting your files means that hackers will be unable to access, alter or steal your files. There is software available that will allow you to import and save data from your browser and store them securely. There are also password-generator options available, as well as opportunities to encrypt cloud files as well as those on your hard drive. Securing your files is just as important as safeguarding data traffic, so invest wisely in the best software.

Conclusions

Many people are increasingly working, shopping, interacting online, and increasing their internet traffic. The shift towards a greater emphasis on at-home working in the past couple of years means that we are now transmitting huge amounts of information online. Unencrypted traffic could spell disaster and could lead to the increased possibility of being a victim of cyber-crime. It has never been more important to secure your data and details online, and that means ensuring you encrypt your traffic in the most robust way possible.

You may also wish to increase your level of online privacy to deprive third parties of obtaining your data, or merely out of principle. Increasingly, our browsing habits and personal data are being sold for profit and state agencies are watching how and when you use the internet. Encrypting your traffic gives you the freedom to use the internet with extra peace of mind.

In this article, we have highlighted some of the most straightforward ways of encrypting your internet traffic and giving yourself an additional layer of security, but what other methods would you suggest to keep your data secure?

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