Urban VPN: Glossary

End-to-end encryption has been introduced by several communication providers in recent years, including WhatsApp and Zoom. What exactly does that imply? Encryption is a relatively simple concept: It converts data into an unreadable format. But what exactly does "end-to-end" imply? What are the advantages and disadvantages? We'll explain it as simply as possible without making it complex.

What is End-To-End encryption (E2EE), and how does it work?

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a secure communication mechanism that protects data from being accessed by third parties. At the same time, it is being transported from one end system or device to another.

VPNs use the most popular encryption technique. End-to-end encryption is provided via VPN, ensuring that your communication channel is always secure. "Encrypted" is the crucial phrase here. All of your data, including your online activity, is encrypted from entering the tunnel to keep it safe from hackers.

Be aware of your dialogue with other people when communicating with them online. If it involves essential information, be sure to use a VPN app to encrypt and secure your internet communications.

You can install VPNs on any device. There are plenty of VPNs available for free, such as free VPN for windows, free iPhone VPN, or free Android VPN.

So, how does End-To-End encryption work?

Messages and files are encrypted before leaving the phone or computer, and they are not decoded until they arrive at their destination. As a result, hackers cannot access data stored on the server because they lack the private keys required to decrypt it. Instead, private keys are saved on each user's device, making access to that person's data far more complex.

The generation of a public-private key pair ensures the security of end-to-end encryption. Public keys are widely distributed and are used to encrypt or lock messages. Only the owner has access to the private keys, which are needed to open or decode the message.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of End-to-End Encryption

Advantages

  • It prevents hackers from accessing your information.

Only a few people get access to your unencrypted data due to E2EE. Even if hackers gain access to the servers where your data is stored, they will be unable to decrypt it since the decryption keys are not available to them. Also, E2EE prevents messages from being decrypted in the middle of their journey.

  • It safeguards the confidentiality of your personal information.

End-to-end encryption has the biggest advantage of preventing unauthorized access to personal information. Only unrecognizable digits and letters can be accepted if the encryption is broken. End-to-end encryption is thus fundamentally safe, as long as operating systems are kept up to date.

  • It is beneficial to the democratic process.

The right to privacy is a fundamental human right. E2EE safeguards free speech and provides protection.

Disadvantages

  • It's not all private.

Even though the material being sent is encrypted and unreadable, information about the sender remains visible. It's important to remember that E2EE-based applications aren't completely safe. When messages are carried from one device to another, they are disguised, but they are viewable on the endpoints - the computers or smartphones on both ends. This isn't always a disadvantage of end-to-end encryption, but it's something to consider.

Instant messaging platforms with E2EE support

  • Signal

Signal is regarded as one of the most secure communications apps available, focusing on end-to-end encrypted voice and text communication.

  • Wire

Wire's encryption works invisibly in the background and is never turned off. Furthermore, each message is encrypted with a different key, limiting the risk of a single key being hacked.

  • WhatsApp

End-to-end encryption has been available on WhatsApp since 2016, allowing users to communicate more securely. It has over 2 billion users.

  • Telegram

Telegram is famous for being a top security provider that never gives third-parties access to your data. Its one-of-a-kind data center network is well-known for linking individuals worldwide.

  • iMessage

iMessage is a limited-use app for Apple devices, but it excels in terms of security. iMessage permits clients to decide the duration of sent messages and the number of times the receiver can view it, as well as conveying end to end encryption between clients. This feature is simply accessible to iOS 10 and later clients.

  • Wickr

A group of security professionals and privacy campaigners built another chat software that enables end-to-end encryption in 2012. This program is open source, and there is no need to register with a phone number or email address.

Email Platforms with E2E Support

Almost every anonymous email platform supports E2E encryption, but here are most used ones:

  • ProtonMail

ProtonMail is a simple webmail administration that safeguards your messages with zero-access encryption and offers end-to-end encryption for message transmission.

  • Tutanota

Tutanota is a German-based encrypted email service. They market themselves as a secure email service that competes with Gmail.

  • Hushmail

Hushmail is a Canadian-based secure email service that encrypts all of your emails. To keep their clients safe and better recognize potential threats, they place simplicity at the heart of their business.

Disable end to end encryption on iPhone

The encryption of iMessage ensures that communications transmitted from one Apple device to another can only be read by the people involved.

Messages on iCloud are end-to-end encrypted, which means that Apple doesn't have the key to decode them even though they're stored in the cloud.

iCloud Backup may be turned off in Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup. Make sure the iCloud Backup toggle is grayed out. When you turn off iCloud Backup, your most recent backup will be kept for 180 days in the cloud.

Disable end to end encryption on Android

On Android, simply disable the chat feature to turn off end-to-end encryption.

Follow these steps to disable chat features:

  • Open the Messages app on your phone or tablet.
  • The three-dot menu will appear when you tap it.
  • Choose options.
  • Choose features for Chat.
  • Disable chat features by tapping the Disable button.

End to End encryption is critical. You must be assured that only you and the individual with whom you're conversing can view your messages if you're having a private chat or sending important information.

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