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Encrypted apps and services translate data into another form, or code, so that only people or entities with access to a secret key or password can read it. One of the most secure types of encryption is end-to-end encryption, which is a system that allows only users who are communicating with one another to read messages. Encryption prevents cyber criminals, online service providers and, in some cases, governments and law enforcement from reading sensitive data.

What are the benefits?

  • Enhanced privacy and confidentiality
    Encryption ensures only the intended recipient or data owner can read personal information or data that it stored or shared online.
  • An added level of security if a device is lost or stolen 
    Using encryption makes data stored on a device or in apps, more likely to stay secure.
  • Authentication Encryption 
    Authentication Encryption ensures the origin of a message can be verified. 
  • Integrity Encryption 
    Integrity Encryption provides proof that the contents of a message have not been changed since it was sent.

What are the risks?

  • Encryption provides varying levels of security
    The level of security provided by encryption is directly related to the length and complexity of the key that is used and the type of encryption.
  • Loss of ability to implement community standards 
    If messages and content are encrypted, then the service or platform providing the communication service cannot regulate what is shared.
  • Exposure to inappropriate content
    As encrypted messaging services are harder to regulate, you could be exposed to inappropriate content including sexualised and violent content.
  • Data loss 
    Encryption helps to secure your data, but it also means that you could be locked out of it if the key is lost or stolen.

You can view encrypted services in the eSafety guide.