When you use a VPN, your security concerns widened to ensure your online privacy protected. One of the critical privacy features is Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) that helps to encrypt your data from cyber criminals, so they can’t steal it. This term may be new to you, don’t worry! Read though to get the idea of PFS and its relative importance in online privacy.
Perfect Forward Secrecy
PFS is a communication protocols’ function; protects the communication being transfer between you and other user or server in a session. A session is a time you spend in a single stance of connecting to an endpoint. Like you connect to a server and upload a file and disconnect after that; the time of initiating the connection till the end is a session. The data transfer within is a file along with other technical details that helped a server to contact you; your IP, connection type and metadata of the file.
Still confused about the connection of PFS with the quoted example? With the use of secure connection protocol like SFTP or TLS, your session remains protected and encrypted, that means you and the server know the data going to and from; anyone tried to spy on your session ends with useless scrambled data. To facilitate the process, your computer use encryption keys to establish a connection, it’s a kind of secret code that is known only to connected parties; this remains the communication secure and encrypted.
To make it easy to digest, PFS ensures that you stolen encryption keys does not affect your past and future communications. If your browsing is not under the shadow of PFS, than any monetary system breach – a malware or targeted infection or hack – your past and future data exposed.
The best part of this secrecy-protecting concept is that it assigns separate encryption keys for a different session; in case your one communication stolen or compromised, your other sessions remain unaffected. So next time when you are in on-&-off conversation with your friend with other conversations, and you find your one convo stolen, so don’t be panic, you’re all other chats remain protected. However, with the properly implemented PSF, your all the communication would be a piece of gibberish for the hackers to hack.
Another unlikely event that can be happened to you is the breaching of your private key. A private key just like a master key that supposed to be highly guarded against the Big data companies as this key encrypt many critical functions. Higher the security more the vulnerability; a private key is the prime target for hackers. PFS will still there to safeguard your data from breaching in such events as well.
Why only PFS – not any other Encryption?
Simpler encryption systems generate and reuse keys for storage and communication over time. Information supposed to be retrieved after the conversation; availability of encryption keys that are used in encryption is preferable. Popular encryptions like PGP or GnuPG use static encryption to encrypt files and emails; Facebook also uses static keys to send you unhackable email notifications. The downside of static keys is that unless you manually change keys regularly, your privacy is at stake; as hackers can easily hack your keys and ruin all your communications. In case you change keys daily, you need to save old keys to access old files.
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How it relates to a VPN?
Encryption protocols encrypt your conversation and websites; keeping your communication safe and private from the hackers. A VPN service wraps a layer of encryption to hide your digital bits and bytes. PFS is an essential tool of a VPN that secure your digital communications and protect all the sessions separately. With PFS, not all VPN can keep up the speed as the layer of encryptions get stronger making your internet speed slower. The issue can be resolved with highly advanced techniques which only used by industry best and fast VPN providers.
A VPN uses dynamic keys for PFS
Since not all the data need to be used in the future. When you open an HTTPS-encrypted website, a browser doesn’t need to save the data for a long, as you can re-request the same page or keep a copy locally. VPN is similar in this aspect, you don’t need to store or re-access the transmitted data, and there is a guarantee that intermediaries like ISPs or governments can’t keep a copy of your transmitted data as VPN with built-in PFS turns the data as useless as possible.
The time you connect with VPN servers, verification of security certificate runs and develop a unique encryption key via key-exchange, once the authentication verified. Each VPN connection has its unique key; it’s impossible for someone to decipher your information, not even in case your device or connected server has been hacked. A VPN re-generate dynamic encryption keys after a connection is terminated.
Other than VPN, all the primary tech providers like Gmail (in 2015), Twitter (in 2013), Facebook (in 2014), etc. have adopted and implemented FPS service in their protection thresholds. That reflects the rising importance and need of PFS in today’s digital world.
If you are planning to buy a consumer VPN, make sure the VPN you select must have built-in PFS service so that you can travel the digital world with their network, without compromising your conversations. If you concerned with the best VPN service providers for 2018 , then you must read this article.