7 Biggest Misconceptions About Using Encryption

Last Updated on December 9, 2019 by Editor Futurescope

Data breaches are commonplace. Since encryption as a technology has been around for so long, neglecting to use it is inexcusable. But many still stay ignorant because of myths and half-truths floating around the web. It’s time to expose seven biggest misconceptions about encryption and glimpse into how things are.

Let’s begin with #1!

Myth #1: It Clashes With Database Performance

Many factors affect database performance. But suggesting that encryption is a deal-breaker is far from the truth. When trying to make the most of it, you should focus on the following:

  • Memory configuration
  • Minimizing indexing
  • Optimizing the cache
  • Trimming the bloat

It will give you far better results than choosing to let the encryption slide for the sake of performance.

Then, you must consider the fact that not all encryption is equal. For instance, application-level encryption is far more resource-consuming than file-level encryption. So, it’s essential to be able to differentiate between the two.

Myth #2: It’s Too Difficult to Use

Again, the difficulty depends on many things. Your current level of knowledge, the software you’re using — everything plays a part.

It’s more to it then knowing whether you need an encryption software for Mac or another operating system. You need to answer three questions before you choose any encryption solution:

1. Who should have access to data?

2. Where is this data located?

3. What type of data should be encrypted?

After coming up with the answers, it’s easier to pick the software solution for the job. You will know how easy-to-use it needs to be, whether it should cover secure sharing, etc.

Myth #3: Encryption is Impenetrable

It would be more accurate to say that encryption is as secure as you make it. You can have the most robust encryption at your disposal but fail to manage your encryption keys. That will undermine the efforts of trying to apply encryption in the first place.

Picture this. You encrypt your files, but use 12345678 as the password to decrypt them. It would take hackers seconds to crack the password and read the contents of anything you tried to keep secure.

Thus, you should have a strong key policy in place as an added measure. Also, be sure to store your encryption keys offline or at least on a separate server. Otherwise, you’re inviting the cybercriminals to do their foul deeds uncontested.

Myth #4: SSL Takes Care of All Encryption Needs

Unfortunately, this is not the case. SSL does make a notable contribution, but it’s limited to the data in motion. In other words, it won’t encrypt any data on your hard drive.

Whether it’s for days or a couple of hours, a responsible webmaster should consider encrypting the data of sensitive nature. Otherwise, the GDPR and similar directives may impose hefty fines for failing to comply.

Myth #5: Only Large Organizations Need to Be Concerned About It

Like the example above, everyone is equal before regulations such as GDPR. Both small business owners and large corporations face sky-high penalties for non-compliance. Data breaches of large corporations pop up in the news more often, indeed. But it doesn’t mean individuals and small businesses aren’t in danger.

Moreover, large organizations are not easy targets. In fact, they have trained cybersecurity professionals on board to bolster their defenses. So, a hacker is often left with no other choice than to target the small guys instead. While the payoff might not be as massive, their defenses are often lacking in comparison.

Myth #6: Encrypted Files Can’t Be Stolen

They can be stolen for sure. Whether the attacker can read the contents is a different question. The answer depends on how reliable the encryption and its key are.

While there’s no bulletproof encryption, you have an indirect effect on it by picking a strong key. Most industry-grade solutions ensure that no attacker can access your encrypted files without the proper key.

Plus, a lost file can do as much damage as exposed one. So, even the most reliable encryption won’t do you much good if you don’t back up the essential data.

Myth #7: It’s Expensive to Implement

Not at all. Particularly not if you compare a measly couple of bucks, you pay for the necessary software to the astronomical costs of a data breach. Plus, there are many discounts you can find to bring the prices down some more.

In the end, you have to ask yourself this: do you have the funds to cover the lawsuits and the fines you’ll face if sensitive data gets out there in a breach? Encryption is much like insurance in a way. It makes sense to pay a little bit upfront to protect yourself from disastrous consequences in the future.


You can still find these seven myths and misconceptions about encryption all over the internet. The uninformed are to blame. But now you’ve taken a step beyond that and acquired enough knowledge to know that encryption should not be neglected or forgotten. It’s time to use it well.

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Founding writer of Futurescope. Nascent futures, foresight, future emerging technology, high-tech and amazing visions of the future change our world. The Future is closer than you think!

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