How to Encrypt Your Internet Traffic

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There might be different reasons for everyone who is looking for how to encrypt your internet traffic. Some just want to hide their online browsing from ISP tracking, some want to enhance their privacy online and some want to protect their data from cyber criminals. Internet traffic encryption has become a growing phenomenon because of the new data retention laws around the world. These laws have permitted the ISP to monitor and retain user’s data.

The surveillance activities of the government have led the internet users around the world to employ such services that help them to encrypt internet traffic. Human beings have inherited the right to privacy which is currently being compromised rigorously. GCHQ, the NSA, and Google all are spying the private communications of the netizens.

Free communication and uncensored searching is the right of internet users. There are many nations and companies who block access to their citizens and employees to certain websites that they can visit and view. Usually, the blocked content is either suspected of a crime or anti-government activities. Thus, in such cases, the internet browsing anonymity turns into a need. To know how to encrypt your internet traffic, you must first understand why internet encryption is important.

Why Internet Encryption Is Important?

The Internet is definitely not a secure platform; it is open to everyone for doing anything. This open invitation poses a great risk to the legitimate users of the internet who in order to protect themselves look for measures and services. Encrypting internet traffic is one the measure that lets the users hide their online activities from the monitoring of ISP, protect sensitive data such as passwords and credit card details. This is why it becomes important to encrypt the internet traffic.

There are many ways to encrypt internet traffic such as VPNs, https, connecting to Tor browser, using encrypted messaging service and privacy extensions.

HTTPS Everywhere

It is a browser extension that works for Opera Android, Chrome, and Firefox. It was introduced by a non-profit organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation who is widely respected for the purpose of protecting digital privacy of people. When the extension is installed, it automatically redirects the unencrypted websites to encrypted, if encryption is supported by that website.

Once the HTTP is switched to HTTPS, all interaction of yours with the website will become encrypted. However, the name of the website that you visited will not be hidden from the internet service provider. This will only work for the websites which are supported by HTTPS encryption and only the browsers that you have installed the extension in. Although it is not the best way to encrypt internet traffic, yet it is better than having nothing.

The encryption of internet traffic by using HTTPS was also recognized by Google after which it proposed that web pages without a secure connection should be flagged by the web browsers. Google also made a move for boosting the search engine results for the websites who use secure connection i.e. HTTPS.

Use VPN

Have you ever thought what potential risk is an unsecured Wi-Fi to your data?

If not, then think about it. Hackers are able to intercept the data that is going to and from your device which is why outgoing and incoming internet traffic should be encrypted. In order to make this open data useless for the hackers, you can encrypt it by using a VPN.

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) acts like a secure tunnel to a trusted third-party server. All data that is sent via this tunnel gets encrypted which means it is now protected from intrusion. Encryption makes it harder to crack and recognize the user. Web-based VPNs are available who charge a monthly fee for the service. These services provide easy access to set up a VPN for business or personal use.

Once you get connected to a VPN your IP address changes to the IP address of your VPN provider. Now all your browsing and internet traffic will appear to be from the IP address of your VPN provider.

Your internet traffic can be seen, modified and logged by the VPN service. Although numerous VPN providers claim that they do not keep logs of your internet traffic and employ additional privacy protective measures. Since the VPN are built on closed platforms it is hard to fully trust those regarding keeping logs. It was found through a study that most of the VPN apps available for Android contained some kind of malware.

Tor Browser

It is an Internet routing system which routes the traffic by encrypting the IP address from where it came. At each hop, only the last and next IP addresses are available to enable routing. The other hops including the real one are encrypted and can only be decrypted by a Tor router.

Detection from everyone is possible through the Tor browser except a few powerful state-owned surveillance machines. Surprisingly, the NSA had some problems in breaking the Tor yet everyone knows they can. Tor is safe for browsing anonymously; however, remember that some agencies can still use resources to spy you.

Tor is the best protection if you want to hide your activities from the ISPs; it provides the most robust protection. Once you get connected to Tor browser, your ISP will only see that you are connected to a Tor network and unable to guess your destination just like VPNs.

It should also be noted that certain websites will not allow access with Tor browser due to the build in protections. Moreover, working on Tor browser may alter your browsing habits.

Privacy Extension

Browser extensions are also important for the protection of privacy online. There are a ton of browser extensions available which modify and enhance the security of browsers. These extensions let you control your browsing experience. There are such extensions available which can block the ads on the sites that you visit, kill the third-party scripts and widgets which might send your data to someone you don’t know.

However, this does not mean that you can fully rely on these extensions to do everything for you, installing them is a responsibility as they might also block things that are needed. Thus, having knowledge of such tools is important. By blocking some legitimate ads, you might cause a huge impact on a site and its employees.

Encrypted Messaging

If you are not using a VPN to encrypt your internet activity then you can use encrypted messaging app.  It is easy to install and provides good end-to-end encryption. However, for such services, it is important that both ends that are you and your receiver have installed the encrypted messaging application.

Conclusion

Encrypting your internet traffic has become essential for the internet users due to the growing government surveillance activities as well as the rising threat from the cyber criminals. We explained how you can encrypt internet traffic by using easy tactics that won’t demand hard effort from you.

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