The internet gives us access in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a generation ago. We can do research in mere seconds that would have taken hours, even days. We can communicate with people half a world away, effortlessly. We can book trips, order conveniences, and manage our lives with just a few simple keystrokes. But all that access comes with a dark side – we, too, can be accessed.
It can be as innocuous as spammy ads tailored to your supposed desires, based on your google searches. You look up keto eating once, and see sidebar ads for diet programs for months to come. But it can also be a lot more sinister than that. Platforms like Google and Facebook, designed to bypass privacy so that they can collect user data, are fundamentally insecure. That Google and Facebook will have your information, and likely sell it, isn’t the only threat you face. What they can access, so too can attackers.
Facebook, for example, has received over 42,000 requests for user information from the US government and has provided at least some information in response to 86% of those requests, according to their own report. Disregarding the validity of those requests, the fact is that it was up to Facebook, not you, to decide whether or not to share the information.
By default, Facebook has access to all your communications on their platform – every status you post. Every relationship, work, location update you make. Every group you follow. Every photo you upload. Every message you send. Every last interaction you have.
It’s Facebook, not you, that decides whether to share that information with a local (or foreign) government without a subpoena. It’s Facebook, not you, that decides whether it’s okay to sell that information to interested parties. When you communicate insecurely, you’re powerless over the spread of your information.
Maybe you trust Facebook to always make exactly the same choices for your data that you’d make. Maybe you’re happy to sign over complete power over your privacy to Zuckerberg and co. Maybe you believe that Facebook has your best interest at heart and always puts making the best choices for you as an individual over the good of their bottomline. Sure. You’re still not safe as long as your naked information is lying around on any company’s servers.
Imagine an attacker wants your information. If they can hack into Facebook’s servers, or even just compromise the right Facebook employee, they have your information. Passwords, photos, personal messages – just like that, none of it is private any more.
The only way to truly keep your files private is with end-to-end encryption. As opposed to other systems of encryption, with end-to-end encryption your information is never accessible to the server. There’s no period in the sending or storage of your information where anyone else can access your information.
End-to-end encryption means that the company whose service you’re using can never access your information, even if they’re subpoenaed or offered vast sums of money for it. It also means that, even in the case of an attack on the server, your information isn’t vulnerable. If an attacker successfully breaks into the server, all they’ll see where your information should be is a bunch of unintelligible gibberish. You’re safe, even when your server provider isn’t.
PreVeil operates with end-to-end encryption and encrypts all details of your files. Whether you’re being attacked or PreVeil is being attacked, hackers will get nothing. They won’t even be able to see your file names or file sizes. Your privacy is fully protected.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced a shift “towards” end-to-end encryption, in a move at least partially meant to assuage users’ privacy concerns when using Facebook for communication with their friends, families, business associates, and acquaintances. “As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms,” Zuckerberg writes, in a blog post about the company’s shift towards more secure communication over the next few years.
There’s a big difference between guaranteed complete privacy for users and a move “towards” secure communications, however. While Facebook and other platforms may arrive at truly secure communication eventually, your communications now are still vulnerable when you use them. Other companies, like Google, haven’t even begun (publicly, at least) to shift towards granting their users true privacy.
Don’t wait for secure communications on an uncertain timeline, when you can protect your privacy today, with PreVeil’s end-to-end encrypted email and file sharing software. If you can use Gmail, you can use PreVeil. If you can use Dropbox, you can use PreVeil. It’s that easy to send secure emails and files, and it’s completely free. It only takes seconds to set up a PreVeil account, but your privacy lasts forever. Check out www.preveil.com/download to get started today.
The post Insecure Communications: Why Your Emails aren’t as Private as You Think appeared first on PreVeil.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from PreVeil authored by Orlee Berlove. Read the original post at: https://www.preveil.com/blog/insecure-communications-why-your-emails-arent-as-private-as-you-think/