How to encrypt your internet connection

How to encrypt internet connection

In the digital age, data breaches and cyber threats are rampant. Encrypting an internet connection becomes not an option but a necessity. This piece dives into the essence of encryption. It highlights why it's crucial for safeguarding your internet traffic and how NordLayer's business VPN can play an important role in enhancing your online security.

Key takeaways

  • Encryption turns data into secret code. It keeps data safe from unwanted access, like talking in a language only you and your friend understand.

  • It's vital for keeping important information safe. Encryption helps fight off malicious actors, protect privacy, follow laws, gain customer trust, and secure remote work.

  • There are various ways to encrypt data. One can use a VPN, secure Wi-Fi, switch on HTTPS, use messaging apps with end-to-end encryption, and ensure the website has SSL/TLS.

  • Different encryption methods include AES, symmetric and asymmetric encryption, SSL/TLS, and VPN encryption.

  • Because cyber threats are getting more complex, using strong encryption everywhere is important. It includes end-to-end encryption and VPNs with the latest standards.

  • NordLayer helps businesses stay safe online with top-notch encryption like AES, ensuring secure internet use and protecting the digital space for companies.

What is encryption, and how does it work?

Encryption is a process that converts your data into a code to prevent unauthorized access. 

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Think of internet connection encryption as translating your data into a secret language that only those with the key can understand. This ensures that even if your information is intercepted, it remains unreadable to prying eyes.

What is encryption

Why is encrypting internet traffic essential?

Encrypting your internet traffic shields your data from cyber threats, ensuring that sensitive information remains confidential. It's about building a fortress around your digital footprint. This way, it makes data impenetrable to attackers who might intercept your data for malicious purposes.

Imagine sending a postcard: anyone handling it en route can read your message. Now, consider if that postcard was in a locked safe, and only you and the recipient have the key. Encryption precisely does this for your digital communication, transforming open, readable data into secure, unreadable formats.

Here's why this matters:

Reasons to encrypt the internet

Protecting sensitive information

Your internet traffic contains sensitive data. Information can include personal details or financial transactions. Encrypting this data ensures it remains confidential, shielding it from identity thieves, bad actors, and even a curious internet service provider (ISP).

Safeguarding against cyber threats

The internet has risks like man-in-the-middle attacks, where attackers intercept your data. Encryption is an impenetrable barrier, ensuring that encoded data is useless to attackers without the proper decryption key.

Ensuring privacy and confidentiality

In an era where digital surveillance is a concern, encryption helps keep your privacy. It prevents third parties from monitoring your online activities, offering a cloak of anonymity even when you're browsing in plain sight.

Compliance with regulations

Various industries are governed by strict regulations requiring the protection of customer data (e.g., GDPR in Europe and HIPAA in the healthcare sector in the US). Encryption helps businesses meet these legal obligations, avoiding hefty fines and reputational damage.

Building trust with customers

For businesses, encrypting internet traffic isn't about security—it's a statement of reliability. Customers are more likely to engage with services that demonstrate a commitment to protecting their data. It enhances customer loyalty and trust.

Securing remote work

With the rise of remote work, employees access company networks from various, often unsecured, internet connections. Encryption ensures that sensitive company data remains secure, regardless of where or how employees connect.

How to encrypt your network internet traffic

Encryption can seem like a stronghold for your data, a necessary shield in the battle against data breaches. Here’s how to fortify your digital environment:

How to encrypt internet traffic

1. Use a VPN

Utilizing a VPN is crucial for enhancing your digital security. It establishes a secure tunnel for your internet activities, encrypting data and masking your IP address, shielding you from bad actors and intrusive ISPs. 

NordLayer's business VPN stands out by offering a seamless encryption experience. It ensures that your online actions remain private, making unauthorized access to your data extremely challenging. Opting for NordLayer reinforces your internet connection and provides peace of mind in the digital world, keeping your business activities secure. 

2. Secure Wi-Fi with WPA2 or WPA3 encryption

Ensure your Wi-Fi network is secured with WPA2 or WPA3 encryption. This provides a strong layer of protection for all data transmitted over your network traffic.

These encryption standards act as a robust shield, safeguarding every piece of data that travels across your network. By implementing WPA2 or WPA3, you're enhancing your network's security and essentially putting a high-security lock on your digital door. 

It helps ensure that the data transmitted remains confidential and resistant to cyber threats. This step is fundamental in building a secure and trustworthy digital environment for your business operations.

3. Enable HTTPS

Enabling HTTPS across all websites is critical to safeguarding your online presence. 

HTTPS encrypts the connection between your browser and the websites you visit. It creates a secure channel that significantly reduces the risk of data interception. By ensuring that all your site interactions are encrypted, you protect your information and enhance your visitors' data security. 

This measure is like sealing your online communications in a tamper-proof envelope, making it much harder for cyber intruders to access sensitive information. Adopting HTTPS is a straightforward yet powerful way to boost your digital security posture.

4. Use end-to-end encryption messaging apps

Leveraging end-to-end encryption (E2EE) messaging apps is a strategic move to protect your communication. 

E2EE ensures that messages are encrypted from the moment they're sent until the intended recipient decrypts them. This level of security means that no one else—not even the app providers—can access the content of your conversations. 

By using E2EE apps, you're effectively putting your messages in a digital vault, accessible only to you and the recipient. It's an essential practice for maintaining the privacy and integrity of your communications, making it a cornerstone of modern digital security.

5. Implement SSL/TLS encryption for websites

Implementing SSL/TLS encryption for your website is non-negotiable for ensuring user data protection and boosting trust. 

SSL/TLS is a secure layer between your server and the visitor's browser. It encrypts data in transit to prevent unauthorized access. Encryption safeguards sensitive information like login credentials and personal data and signals to your visitors that their security is a priority, enhancing your site's credibility.

Types of internet encryption

Understanding the types and algorithms of internet encryption can be compared to learning the various martial arts for digital defense. Here are some key players:

  • AES encryption: the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a powerful global algorithm to secure data.

AES encryption
  • Symmetric encryption is a method where the same key is used to encrypt and decrypt the data.

Symetric encryption
  • Asymmetric encryption uses a pair of public and private keys, ensuring that only the intended recipient can decrypt the message.

Asymetric encryption
  • SSL/TLS encryption: secures data transmitted over the internet, providing a secure connection between web browsers and servers.

SSL/TSL encryption
  • VPN encryption: protects data in transit, ensuring that information sent over a virtual private network remains private and secure.

VPN encryption

For further insight into network encryption and its importance, visit NordLayer's guide on network encryption.

Why does your business need more than standard web encryption?

Standard web encryption protects data in transit, but businesses require a more comprehensive approach in the face of sophisticated cyber threats. This is where end-to-end encryption, VPNs, and advanced encryption standards come into play, offering a multi-layered defense mechanism for your digital assets.

The limitations of standard web encryption

Standard web encryption safeguards data during transit. It ensures information is unreadable as it travels across the internet. 

Yet, it’s only one part of a much larger cybersecurity puzzle. Once data arrives at its destination, or if it's stored somewhere along its journey, it's vulnerable again unless other forms of protection are in place. It's like sending a letter with a lock only on the mailbox but none on the letter itself.

The spectrum of cyber threats

Cybercriminals have grown more sophisticated, employing tactics that bypass standard encryption or target data at rest. 

These tactics include, but are not limited to, phishing attacks, malware that can exfiltrate unencrypted data, and advanced persistent threats (APTs) that infiltrate network traffic to steal or corrupt data over time.

Comprehensive protection with end-to-end encryption

E2EE ensures that data is encrypted from when it leaves the sender until the intended recipient decrypts it.

This means no intermediary, not the service provider, can decrypt and view the data. It's akin to sending a sealed letter that only the recipient can open, providing a robust defense against interception and unauthorized access at any point during its journey.

The role of VPNs

VPNs extend the concept of encryption beyond data in transit to encompass the entire communication channel. VPNs protect against eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks, even on unsecured or public Wi-Fi networks. It’s achieved by creating a secure, encrypted tunnel through which data can travel. 

This is crucial for businesses with remote or mobile employees accessing company resources outside the office.

Advanced encryption standards (AES)

Employing advanced encryption standards, like AES, offers a more formidable barrier against attempts to crack encrypted data. With options for 128, 192, and 256-bit encryption, AES is akin to adding a few sophisticated locks on your data, each requiring an astronomical amount of time and computational power to breach.

Why more is needed

In the face of threats like ransomware, which can encrypt your data and hold it hostage, relying only on standard web encryption is insufficient. Businesses must adopt a multi-layered security approach. This includes end-to-end encryption for sensitive communication, VPNs for secure access, and the use of advanced encryption standards to protect stored data.

Additionally, this comprehensive approach to encryption must be part of a broader cybersecurity strategy. That strategy includes regular security audits, employee training on threat awareness, and implementing security policies that adapt to the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, so too must our defenses. Businesses can better protect their digital assets by going beyond standard web encryption and adopting a layered security approach. This helps maintain customer trust and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. It's not about locking every door but fortifying every possible entry point.

How NordLayer can help

NordLayer's business VPN goes beyond traditional encryption methods by offering advanced security features that include AES encryption, secure access to your resources, and protection across all internet connections. It's about encrypting your internet traffic and creating a secure digital ecosystem for your business.

Features like Always On VPN ensure that an established VPN connection always runs in the background while connected to the internet to encrypt internet traffic. It's about secure browsing and ensuring your data remains secure, no matter the storms you may face.

Reach out to our team to learn more about encrypting your internet connections with NordLayer.

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