Encryption means the conversion of information into a form that can only be understood by certain authorized persons. This process is often also referred to as ciphering. Encryption is used in the computer industry to secure data against unauthorized access. Encryption is used to convert certain content so that it is no longer comprehensible to outsiders. This is to ensure that a non-authorized person is no longer able to decrypt and utilize the data it contains.
Encryption: Methods of encryption
In encryption, a rough distinction is made between symmetric and asymmetric encryption systems. This categorization is based on how cryptographic keys are transmitted to or used by the parties involved. In the symmetric encryption method, both communication partners use the same key. In the meantime, symmetric encryption methods are mostly distinguished between block encryption and stream encryption. In block encryption, the content is divided into blocks that all have the same size. If a block is too small, it is filled with meaningless characters. The blocks are then encrypted automatically as part of the encryption process. In stream encryption, content is encrypted bit-by-bit or character-by-character using an online algorithm. In asymmetric systems, each party receives a pair of keys, one of which remains secret and the other is made public. This is referred to as asymmetric encryption, because once the data has been encrypted with the public key, it can only be made readable again with the corresponding secret key.
Encryption – important for online money transactions
Encryption is particularly important for secure payment transactions when shopping or banking online. As with secure email queries, this is made possible by means of a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). The customer logs in with the assigned access data and verifies the security certificate received from the server. The certificate is then issued, provided that the certification authority has verified that the data traffic can be carried out securely. The certificate then contains all the information required for encryption and authentication.
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