With recent security and privacy issues resulting from the San Bernardino iPhone dispute, it’s a good time to learn more about encryption.
What is encryption?
Basically encryption is a method used to secure information stored on any electronic device. This includes data such as text messages, photos, emails, and documents on smartphones.
When data is “encrypted,” it means it’s in a scrambled format, which makes it unreadable for computers or people without a key (such as a PIN code or passphrase) to the device.
It’s actually more complex than simply requiring a PIN code – Apple for example, requires several pieces of information in order to access data within the device. In addition to a PIN code or a fingerprint required from the user, there is also a key embedded in the device’s processor (secure enclave), which is unknown to anyone.