Encryption is a process whereby a message or data is encoded so that it cannot be understood by anyone except the intended recipient. Encryption means that data and messages can be safely and securely stored and transmitted by the recipient or the sender.
- Encrypted messages are known as ciphertext.
- Unencrypted messages are known as plaintext.
An encryption key is an important piece of information that allows the encrypted data or message to be made readable again (decrypted).
Encryption has many important uses:
To securely send sensitive information across the internet such as bank details, passwords, or emails etc. When a website uses the HTTPS protocol; this means that the information being transferred is encrypted.
Encrypting satellite TV transmissions to prevent users who do not have a subscription to watching TV shows.
Encrypting data that is stored on a laptop hard disk. This is important as a laptop might contain sensitive information and could be easily stolen, being encrypted means that it cannot be read by anyone else, safely storing the data.