#BeCyberSmart with Wickr

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), a tradition that is celebrating its 17th year. Here at Wickr, we take cybersecurity very seriously and we appreciate the efforts of NCSAM to encourage Americans to #BeCyberSmart.

Technology has brought immeasurable opportunities, provided us with endless information, and substantially increased our ease of living. However, the increased use of technology has a downside: digital information is vulnerable to attack. It is estimated that a cyber attack happens every 39 seconds; hackers prey on innocent people 2,244 times a day. And with our lives increasingly coming online, we can’t afford to ignore those threats. Just as you would lock your home to protect it from intruders, you need to secure your online presence from any potential bad actors — because they are most certainly out there.

Wickr prides itself on making cybersecurity easy for you — we handle the technical side and simply provide an easy-to-use app that allows you to communicate freely while being protected by state-of-the-art security measures. In this post, we will highlight 5 Wickr features that make it easy to #BeCyberSmart not only in October, but year-round.

1. End-to-End Encryption

End-to-end encryption is a buzzword that flies around a lot nowadays, but it is often misunderstood. Let’s break it down to show why it is so important and how the term is often misused

Encryption is a method of encoding information so that it cannot be accessed unless you have the decryption key. End-to-end encryption means that the data is encrypted the entire time it travels from one end-user to the other. Why is this so important? Well, it’s rarer than you would think.

While data encryption is common, it is important to know the difference between end-to-end encryption and client-to-server encryption. In the former, data is encrypted the whole way as it passes from one end-user to the other. With client-to-server encryption, the data is encrypted as it goes from one end-user to the server but is then decrypted at the server level. This means that not only can the server view the supposedly encrypted information, but if anyone was to hack the server, that information will be compromised.

By ensuring that your data is fully encrypted end-to-end, we decrease the chance of vulnerability substantially. Furthermore, that means that at Wickr, we don’t store your data or decrypt it on our servers. Your data is your data — we simply provide a service to get it safely from point A to point B.

2. Encrypted Calling and File Sharing

While on the topic of encryption, it is important to note that Wickr has a leg up on its competition in another area: end-to-end encrypted voice and video calling, between 2 people up to a group of 55. While encrypting messages can be pretty straightforward, featuring voice and video calling that is fully encrypted — even with large groups — is quite a feat that not many have conquered. This way, any calls and conferences you hold will be protected by our same end-to-end encryption and won’t vulnerable to any bad actors trying to listen in.

Wickr also provides fully encrypted screen share and file sharing, meaning that anything you need to do to collaborate with your team, you can do safely inside of Wickr.

3. Avoid Email Hacking

Cyber attacks via email are on the rise and show no signs of slowing. Not sure you’re ready to ditch your inbox? Maybe these stats will change your mind:

Email is the default communication mechanism for people in their personal and professional lives, and hackers know this. This is why we need to rethink how we communicate and stop relying on a technology that has been proven time and again to be vulnerable to threats. 

Wickr is completely secure and provides all of the capabilities that email has and more. Additionally, Wickr features user verification, so you know that you are communicating with the person you think you are. With out-of-network alerts, there are multiple safeguards in place to protect you from anyone attempting to impersonate a friend or coworker.

4. Ephemerality

A sound cybersecurity principle is that data shouldn’t live beyond its useful life. If you no longer need information, then dispose of it — storing it forever only creates a stockpile of information for hackers to uncover.

This is why Wickr features ephemerality in the form of expiration timers and burn-on-read timers. You can dictate how long information stays in your room or direct message, and the countdown can begin either when it is sent (expiration timer) or it can count down when it is read by the recipient (burn-on-read timer). Either way, your data won’t be kept longer than it is useful, saving you from any potential bad actors seeing your information.

5. Secure Shredder

We all know that when it comes to computing, “deleting” something doesn’t really mean it’s gone. Information is often still kept, just placed in a different spot. This is why Wickr employs a secure data shredder. With the secure shredder, we replace your information with random bits of code, ensuring that it can never be read again. This way, when you delete your information, it is truly never able to be found again.

Be Cyber Smart with Wickr

This October we are focusing on cybersecurity, but the truth is that you can’t only focus on cybersecurity one month out of the year. Cybersecurity needs to be addressed in your every day communications and in the way that you deal with technology in general. 

With Wickr, we make it easy for you by providing military-grade security precautions within an easy-to-use app so that you can simply communicate with those around you, knowing that you are protected.  Find out for yourself: Download AWS Wickr today!