The term “end-to-end encryption” refers to a form of data transfer in which not even the middlemen involved in the transmission can read the data except for the sender and the receiver.
End-to-end encryption data is encrypted with a key known only to the sender and receiver.
Resetting end-to-end encrypted data often involves erasing or discarding the key used to encrypt and decode the data, rendering the data unusable. This can be done for several reasons, including making sure the data is inaccessible after a predetermined time or in the event the key is lost or stolen.
When end-to-end encrypted data is reset, the key is destroyed, and the encryption key is no longer usable. To avoid losing access to sensitive information, it is critical to creating a backup or other means of preserving encrypted files before resetting encryption.
How to erase end-to-end encrypted data?
Data that has been encrypted end-to-end must have the key used to encrypt and decrypt the data deleted or otherwise discarded. This will make the information unintelligible and remove access to it permanently.
Here’s how to erase end-to-end encrypted data:
- You need to find the key used to encrypt and decrypt the data. In most cases, this key is generated at the time the data is first encrypted, and it is then either stored on the device of the sender or the recipient or in a safe internet place accessible only to those with the appropriate credentials.
- Be careful you have a copy of the files you intend to delete before attempting to delete them. The data will be irretrievably lost if it is erased, as end-to-end encryption is destructive.
- Get rid of the key and anywhere you might have kept it online. With the key removed, the data can no longer be decrypted.
- You may also need to remove the encrypted data if it is stored on a computer or a smartphone. If you want to ensure that the information you delete from your device can never be recovered again, you need to delete it securely.
- Depending on where the information is stored, you may need to delete it from the specific online service or platform it was initially kept on. If you want to be confident that your data is gone for good, you should delete it right from the service or platform.
- If you delete something that is end-to-end encrypted, it will be gone forever. Therefore, before removing any data you want to keep, have a backup.