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advocacy community education
17
ing confidential information and using it
in whatever ways will profit themselves
the most.
If someone were to scoop some water
out of the stream and your email mes-
sage happened to be in the cup, it
would be no problem at all for that
person to read the email message you
sent. A good way to think of this is
that sending an email is very much
like sending a post card. It's cheap,
easy, and reliable, but it's also possi-
ble for people on the way to read if
they want to.
Fortunately, there is a good solution to
this danger, and that solution is encryp-
tion. Encryption goes back a long way,
at least as far back as Ancient Greece,
where generals would send messages
that could only be read by their allies or
comrades in battle. The message was
written on a scroll that served as a
"key" and was unreadable unless the
recipient had a similar key and could
wrap the message around their scroll
to read it.
Digital encryption has been around for
a long time as well, since the 1970s. It
essentially means that a "packet" of
data cannot be read unless someone
has the right key. Rather than sending
a postcard, you are now sending a
message that is locked in a box that
can't be opened without a key.
Generally that key is a username and
password, although there are a variety
of additional security measures that
can be put into place.
When data is encrypted with 128-bit
encryption or higher, it cannot be read
without the key, since it would take a
The Cloud isn't anything more than a lot of servers
owned and managed by a third party (the likes of
Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others) that can store
your data and allow you to access it from wherever
you are with whatever device you want.
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