End-to-end encryption, a term that is associated with most instant messaging and video calling platforms as means to provide added security to users’ data and enhanced privacy.
But what is end-to-end encryption? Why is every single messaging and video calling platform getting onboard with it? And most importantly, how does it safeguard user’s data?
We explain everything you need to know about end-to-end encryption and how it ensures additional safety for user’s data. Read on…
End-to-end encryption: Introduction
End-to-end encryption is designed to keep the data or a message or a transfer package secure and away from the snoopers or hackers to prevent them from eavesdropping when a message is in transit.
To achieve this level of security, an end-to-end encryption system encrypts a message in an ‘alien’ which can only be deciphered by the device that’s intended to receive the message.
What that means is the encryption takes place on the sender’s device and then it is transferred to the receiver’s device through the service providers (WhatsApp, Zoom, etc) channel to the receiver where the device matches the encryption code and once it matches, the message gets decrypted in a readable format. The same applies to the calls and video messages.
In theory, an end-to-end encrypted message can only be read by the sender (obviously) and the receiver. It can’t be decrypted by the service provider itself.
“End-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read or listen to what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp”, says WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption FAQ page
End-to-end encryption: How it makes the data secure
As mentioned, the messages sent and received are encrypted and can only be read by sender and the receiver, not even the middle ‘man’ can read or listen to the calls. That means, only the sender and the receiver are reading or listening to the messages or calls.
To put it into perspective, you have two keys to your house. You decided to keep one for yourself and gave the other key to your wife. Now, both keys are for the same lock, so only you and your wife have access to the house.
Similarly, in case of end-to-end encryption, cryptographic codes are generated with each message and also each chat has different codes, which can be understood as the key to unlock/decrypt the received message.
Once the codes match, the messages get decrypted. It is also important to understand that all this happens in the background and at a really fast speed.