Here is the link to Wikipedia: Encryption (Any links to Wikipedia for that word would be bolder, underlined, and italicized)
The word encryption is defined as “the process of transforming clear text into coded, unintelligible text for secure storage or communication. Encryption is used for VPNs, for secure Web sites, and for other purposes as well” (Kroenke 190). Simply put, encryption means that you can lock your information in a secured storage and would need a key to open that safe to access the information.
Reason for encryption
In order to secure the information that is on your computers and over by the Internet, encryption is one of most popular and effective way to secure it. It is done by processing the information into an encoded secured type in a way that only the person or a computer with a key can decode it. A key for encryption can be seen simply as the key to a safe or a special knowledge to open the safe.
Types of information you want to secure may be like credit card information, social security numbers, sensitive company information, bank account information, private correspondence, personal detail, and etc. Encryption will help protect these types of information from wrongful users and hackers that may want to access your information for identity theft and fraud.
A lot of research has gone into developing encryption algorithms, “Algorithms used to transform clear text into coded, unintelligible text for secure storage or communication. Commonly used methods are DES, 3DES, and AES” (Kroenke 190). It is important to establish a difficult algorithms that will be very difficult to break in order to avoid others from getting your sensitive information. The way you can see is that the safer and stronger your safe is, the safer it is for the objects inside the safe from being broken into and being stolen.
How Encryption Works
1. First, you find the information such as email, credit card information, and other sensitive information that you want it to be secured.
2. Then you will run that information into a program using an algorithms, a special type of a math formula, by use of a key that helps build the formula. It means that a key is used in order to encrypt the data. A key is a number value that works with the encryption algorithm to produce a coded message from the original message.
3. After the encoded message has been sent, the receiver will need either the same key that was used to code the message or a different key that was only meant to decode the message and not to encode the message.
There are 3 different methods of encryption.
A. A symmetric encryption, the same key that was used to code the original message will be used to decode the coded message.
B. An asymmetric encryption, then different keys are used for coding the message and decoding the message.
C. Hashing is where you would get a certain length of data that is in a special format by hashing the information, then the receiving party would compare the sets of data. Hashing is different from the other 2 methods because it can be seen as a one way encryption, where there is no key or any knowledge to reverse the encrypted message.
Types of Encryption
1. Public/private key(link to Wikipedia), a type of asymmetric encryption. In this type of encryption, the public key which is in plain or uncoded text, is sent to the relating parties, then these parties would use the public keys to encode the necessary information, then the receiving party would use the private key to encode the sensitive information. The public keys are used to communicate while the private keys are used to decode and are never communicated.
2. HTTPS(link to Wikipedia) is known as the most secure way to communicate over the internet. HTTPS uses the secure socket layer (SSL) also known as transport layer security (TLS) to encrypt the data.
1. SSL/TLS uses a combination of both the public/private key and a symmetric encryption to bring out the most secure way of communication.
i. The computer you use to send the information will obtain the public key of the recipient.
ii. Then your computer will create another key for symmetric encryption using the public key and encodes the symmetric key and sends it to the recipient.
iii.The recipient then will use its own private key to decode the encoded symmetric key, and then the recipient and you will be able to communicate using the symmetric encryption.
iv. Then, after the necessary information are exchanged, at the end of the session, these used keys will be abandoned and if you needed to exchange information again the same process will be used.
2. HTTPS is a great way to communicate with another web server or a person because it uses an effective combination that is both secure and timely efficient.
3. There are other types of encryption out there and it will be very wise and important to learn the different types in order to encrypt different types of information as secure as possible.
Kroenke, David. Using MIS. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River:
Prentice Hall, 2011.