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What is Encryption and Decryption?

Let us take a look at the topics that are going to be discussed in this blog:

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Before we can start talking about encryption and decryption, let us have a little discussion about cryptography.

Humans have been using cryptography for as long as they have wanted to keep messages secret. Cryptography is the process of protecting and securing data. It helps prevent unidentified entities from accessing sensitive or confidential data. Governments have been using cryptography for military purposes for a long time. The ancient Greeks and Romans used to send secret messages using ciphers that were only decipherable by specific keys. The Caesar Cipher is an example of early cryptography. Cryptography has two important functionalities—encryption and decryption. Let us discuss them in more detail.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is the process in which messages are changed into an unidentifiable form. The encrypted message is then sent over the network. The sender needs an encryption algorithm along with a key that helps change the message into ciphertext. Encryption is also commonly referred to as enciphering.

The data that is encrypted is called plaintext. The encrypted, unrecognizable data is called ciphertext. The cryptographic algorithm that helps transform the plaintext into ciphertext, using a key, is known as the encryption algorithm.

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What is Decryption?

Decryption is the reverse process of encryption. Decryption converts the ciphertext back to plaintext. The receiver has to use a decryption algorithm and a key to decipher the ciphertext. Deciphering is another word for decryption.

The decryption algorithm is the reverse process of the encryption algorithm. The decryption algorithm uses the ciphertext and the key to change ciphertext to plaintext.

Encryption and Decryption Keys

Keys are the string of bits created randomly for the specific purpose of encrypting and decrypting data. The keys for encryption and decryption can be the same or different, depending on the encryption method used. All keys are made via algorithms to make sure they are difficult to guess. They are usually generated using random number generators.

Let us take a look at some different types of keys:

Difference Between Encryption and Decryption

Let us take a look at the major differences between encryption and decryption:

Parameter Encryption Decryption
Definition Converts data and messages into an unrecognizable form; does not allow any unauthorized access. Converts unrecognizable or coded data into its original form.
Process When data is sent between two different machines, it is encrypted using a key. The data receiver can decrypt the data using a key.
Point of Conversion The sender converts and sends the data. The receiver receives and converts the data.
Example An employee has to send an important document to their manager. A manager receives important documents from their employee.
Major Function To change humanly comprehensible messages into unreadable messages that cannot be understood. To change unreadable messages into an easily comprehensible form, so that they can be understood easily.

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What are Some Common Encryption and Decryption Algorithms?

There are many encryption and decryption algorithms available today. Let us take a look at some of the most commonly used encryption and decryption algorithms:

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Why Do We Need Encryption and Decryption?

Even though encryption and decryption cannot foolproof your security, you can still use them to protect your identity and privacy.  If you are ever being watched, you can hide your data securely by using well-implemented encryption and decryption systems.

Encryption and decryption systems work best when they are automated. They should not be a feature that you turn on only when you are doing something that you feel is worth protecting; they should be enabled by default.

Encryption and Decryption Tools

Let us take a look at some of the best free encryption and decryption software tools available:

Applications of Encryption and Decryption

Let us take a look at some of the everyday applications of encryption and decryption:

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Encryption and decryption are important to keep data secure and private. There are various tools available online that can help you encrypt and decrypt your data. These tools employ different encryption and decryption algorithms, and you can choose one according to your needs.

The post What is Encryption and Decryption? appeared first on Intellipaat Blog.

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