Encryption refers to the technology that protects your communications from being read by unwanted third parties. It scrambles the text of messages when you send them; they can then only be unscrambled by their intended recipient. Many government agencies and rogue groups eavesdrop on messages as they are transmitted across the Internet. Encryption ensures that whatever they pick up is unreadable to them, because they are not its authorized recipient.
How one NASCAR team was held hostage by a hacker and forced to pay a ransom for its data
Malware made racing team hit the brakes.
Police wiretaps of encrypted communications fell 68 percent in 2015
But that doesn't tell the whole story.
Hackers can steal passwords and encryption keys by listening to your PC
If you can listen well enough, many computers will give up their secrets.