How Important Is Encryption to Online Privacy and Security?

Whenever there is a discussion about privacy and security in the online world, it ultimately boils down to just one term, and that is Encryption. Encryption encodes all of your messages on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal.

Encryption is pretty much the only reliable way to secure user data and all other types of data, including corporate and healthcare data.

The concept is straightforward. Encryption turns your data into something that no one can understand.

An image featuring a key with a different colored background representing encryption to online privacy and security

The only entity that can understand your data is the intended recipient. Even there, the recipient has to have the right encryption key in order to convert your encrypted data back into something the recipient can understand.

The two most prevalent forms of encryption are Symmetric Key Encryption and Asymmetric Encryption.

Encryption is important because, without it, you would not have a foolproof way of protecting your online personal data, which may or may not be personal in nature.

An image featuring a lock on top of the shift button representing encryption for online privacy and security

You may think that you don’t have anything to hide and hence don’t need to know the importance of encryption, but that’s not true. Think about all the tasks that you or your representative (lawyer, healthcare provider, and any other kind of adviser) do with the help of the internet. The vast majority of the people living in the developed world use the internet at one stage or another while getting checked at a doctor’s office, making financial decisions, withdrawing money from their bank’s official website, and/or researching medical conditions on the internet.

You don’t want the data you generate from all these activities (and let’s be honest, every single time you click on anything connected to the internet like websites, apps, and streaming services, data gets generated and entities mentioned above eat up that data ) to get near the wrong people.


To guard against such data theft, the vast majority of legitimate and active websites in the world now use HTTPS, which appears on your screen in the shape of a small lock icon (green in color) right beside the URL bar of your web browser.

The green lock icon works like a guarantee that the website you are visiting right now offers encrypted browsing and secure data exchange features.

An image featuring a person using his laptop with the text ENCRYPTED on the screen

Now keep in mind we said the vast majority of legitimate websites. You could be using websites that don’t belong to such a category. In fact, Google, in a recent Transparency Report, specifically mentioned that around 25 percent of all online traffic doesn’t have encryption on it.

And since you could already be visiting and using websites that don’t comply with modern encryption standards, the only way to make sure that your data is safe whether or not the website you are visiting is using HTTPS and other security standards, is to use a VPN.

Using a VPN has plenty of benefits. VPNs are great at encrypting your data, securing your connection, and making you anonymous on the internet. All you have to do is install a VPN app on the device you want to be protected.


Understanding encryption should only be the start of your journey to privacy and online security. You need to participate fully in any debate regarding privacy and security to change the way the internet works nowadays.

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