TECHNOLOGY & SECURITY 101

DATA COMMUNICATION FUNDAMENTALS

  • April 30, 2019

Data communication is a term that can be used in a variety of ways, in a physical sense, talking to a friend face to face can be considered as data communication.
Digital data communication, however, can be a complicated topic, typing on a keyboard transfers data, sending a Facebook message, SMS Text, Email, video, uploading to Instagram, etc. These ALL communicate data, one point to another.

When we say Data Communication, simply imagine sending something from one location, through a form of media[1] to another location.

In a World where almost all of the data we send and receive is being monitored, simply posting a letter to a friend can be incredibly risky, There’s absolutely nothing stopping the Postal service from tearing it open and reading the contents, “oops… we seem to have lost your letter”.

The same goes for digital data unless you’re taking actions to secure the data before its being transported, chances are, someone somewhere with very little effort is also viewing it.

This would be a good time to introduce the concept of Encryption[2]. In its basic form, Encryption is a technical process that tries to scramble data in such a way that it’s only recoverable by people with the right (and hopefully intended) access.
There will be a future release that hopes to go more into detail about Encryption as it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to secure data when communicating over insecure media.
For the sake of simplicity, If something is Encrypted, Only you and your recipient can read it.

Thankfully with modern advancements and Open source[3] applications, the Technicalities of Encryption aren’t something the individual user needs to understand in order to enjoy its benefits, Applications like WhatsApp, Signal[4], Telegram, and Protonmail all have Encryption functionality built-in, There are still insecurities with these and we will cover those in a separate edition. Just know that for Mobile communication, Most, if not all of us at Unoffensive Animal use Signal.
A very important side note, Facebook (Including Messenger) IS NOT SECURE, Stay away from Companies who cower to Government power when it comes to providing access to your information.

There are some companies, however, who decide to use Encryption to transfer data in their services by default, however, if you aren’t 100% sure, It’s best practice to assume otherwise.

As a final note, We’d really like to drill into you that even though you may already be using similar Applications as mentioned above, Remember that there are other techniques that someone can use to read the Data sent, sometimes even before it’s left your Device.
The security measures we will introduce you should be considered as layers that you can place on top of a Solid, Secure mentality to increase the level of difficulty required to obtain your private information.

As Mentioned in the Last edition, We can talk about Security for as long as our voice can hold out. Ideally, we’d like to teach you things that you would like to know.
If you have any suggestions for topics we can cover, please let us know as a comment on these posts.

Until All are Free
Unoffensive Animal

Comments:
[1] When we use the terms Media or even Transportation, imagine when you used to play with Cups on a string, the cups are the 2 end-points and the string between is the method of transportation or the “media” data is being transferred over, in the real world, this can be over Wi-Fi, Physical network cables (Ethernet) or Sound waves through Vocal communications, etc.

[2] Encryption is a mathematical process that attempts to alter the data of a message in such a way that it can only be recovered by the intended parties.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encryption

[3] Open source is a term given to Software that has the original source code freely available and that may be redistributed and modified.
In terms of security, it means anybody can dig into the code and see exactly what it does.
https://opensource.com/resources/what-open-source

[4] Signal is a Secure Messaging application primarily focused on Mobile Technologies, The Application uses E2EE (End 2 End Encryption). This means that the data sent from your device is encrypted until it reaches your recipient. More Information can be found here: https://support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articles/360007320391-Is-it-private-Can-I-trust-it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Fields marked with * are required