January 18, 2024

Zero-Knowledge Encryption Explained in Simple Terms

2023 was a pivotal year for the advancements in the technology and IT sector. With expeditious developments in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, launching a cyber attack has become easier than ever.

In 2023, there were a total of 6 billion compromised records with 1,404 breach incidents, amounting to almost 4 breaches per day! Darkbeam was the largest data breach of 2023, with over 3.8 billion records leaked. Statistics like these cannot be taken on a lighter note, especially when your sensitive data and that of your organization are involved.

However, the good news is that sensitive data can be proactively shielded from cyber attacks using powerful data encryption techniques. Encrypting data with Zero-Knowledge encryption ensures that even if data is leaked during a breach, it cannot be deciphered and cannot be made use of without the proper decryption keys.

In this blog post, let’s discuss what data encryption with zero-knowledge encryption is, why it’s important for data security, how to use it, and its effective use cases

What is Zero-Knowledge Encryption?

Before we understand what Zero-Knowledge Encryption is, first, let’s quickly understand what does data or file encryption mean. File encryption is a process where the contents of a file are transformed into an unreadable and undecipherable format using complex mathematical algorithms and cryptographic keys.

During the file encryption process, the algorithm rearranges, shifts, mixes, and transforms the contents of the files into a random formation of strings. The cryptographic keys determine the exact order or steps of these arrangements, which can be used to reverse the encryption process to convert the contents of the files back to their original forms.

Zero-knowledge encryption is an encryption type that ensures that the data is encrypted before it reaches a service provider such as an encryption cloud storage – thus the name ‘Zero Knowledge’. Zero-knowledge encryption ensures that only the end user has access to the cryptographic keys, and the service provider cannot decrypt the data, even if they have access to it. This is important for protecting sensitive data, such as financial information or medical records.

Why Zero-Knowledge Encryption Matters for Your Data?

Zero-Knowledge encryption matters for your data because it provides a high level of security that is not available with other encryption methods. With Zero-Knowledge encryption, no one but you have the ability to decrypt your data, even if they have the encrypted file. This is because Zero-Knowledge encryption uses a cryptographic key that is only known to you

The key is never shared with anyone, not even the service provider that is hosting your encrypted data. This means that even if a hacker were to gain access to your encrypted data, they would not be able to decrypt it without the keys.

Zero-Knowledge encryption is an excellent choice for securing sensitive data, such as financial information, medical records, and intellectual property. It is also a good choice for data that you want to keep private, such as personal photos or videos.

How to Use Zero-Knowledge Encryption for Your Files?

Using AxCrypt’s encryption software, you can encrypt your sensitive data on your computer or smartphone with just a few clicks. AxCrypt is the true Zero-Knowledge encryption software with a powerful, lightweight, and super-easy to use user interface.

Steps to Automatically Encrypt Files on Windows and Mac with Zero-Knowledge

Follow the steps below to automatically encrypt files on your Windows and Mac with AxCrypt:

STEP 1: Download and install AxCrypt: https://axcrypt.net/download/

STEP 2: Open AxCrypt and sign in or sign up with your email and password.

STEP 3: Click the ‘Secure’ button with a padlock icon and select the file you’d like to encrypt.

STEP 4: This will encrypt the file and you can open it by either double-clicking the file on the ‘Recent Files’ tab or by clicking on ‘Open Secured’ and selecting the file.

STEP 5: To automatically encrypt, click on the File > Options and check the ‘Include Subfolders’ option.

STEP 6: Click on the ‘Secured Folders’ tab and right-click to add the desired folder that you would like to automatically encrypt files within.

STEP 7: Create, modify, add, or drag files to the secured folder and AxCrypt will automatically encrypt them once you click the ‘Cleanup’ button on the top-right or sign out of the application.

Your most recent encrypted files will appear on the main screen on the ‘Recent Files’ tab, and will have a file extension of .axx. You can add new folders and subfolders and AxCrypt will automatically encrypt the files within the folders.

To completely decrypt the file, click on the ‘Stop Securing’ icon from the main menu strip on top and select the files that you’d like to decrypt.

Steps to Encrypt Files on Your Android and iOS Phones

Quick 3-step tutorial to encrypt files your Android and iOS smartphones:

STEP 1: Install AxCrypt from Google PlayStore or App Store and sign into your account.

STEP 2: Tap the ‘Secure’ button with a padlock icon and select ‘Phone’.

STEP 3: Browse and select the files that you’d like to encrypt. Tap and hold to select multiple files.

And that’s it! Your files will be encrypted with an .axx file extension, and will appear on the ‘Recent Files’ tab under the menu strip. To open a file, just tap on any of the listed files directly from the main screen, or tap the ‘Open Secured’ button and select a file. To permanently decrypt a file, tap on the ‘Stop Securing’ button and select the file that you’d like to decrypt that has the .axx file extension.

When you open a file to view or edit, it only creates a temporary decryption process, and any changes made to the file will automatically be re-encrypted.

AxCrypt can also automatically encrypt and sync files on your Windows and Mac, and on your Google Drive and OneDrive accounts, so that you can access and edit them on the go on your phone.


Zero-Knowledge Encryption is a powerful data security technique for your sensitive data. It can ensure that data is protected at all times, even if it resides with third-party service providers such as cloud storage services or corporate networks. Zero-Knowledge Encryption acts as a first line of defense for your sensitive files, and it's recommended by renowned institutions like NIST, IBM, Microsoft etc. to protect valuable data at rest.

Selecting a robust file Zero-Knowledge Encryption software ensures that your files are equipped with the powerful measures to protect your sensitive data effectively. Whether it's personal files, financial documents, or sensitive business data, encryption ensures that even if unauthorized access occurs to your files, your data remains unreadable and protected

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