Data Encryption

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Encryption is a method of programming data for security so that it appears to be random data. Only the people sending and receiving the information have the key to decrypt the message, which will put it back into its original form making it readable. The only people with the key are the people who are intended to read the message. Not many people know what encryption is. I took a survey of twenty students and asked two questions. The first question I asked was do you know what encryption means and the second question I asked was have you ever heard of anybody using encryption. This is a chart of the information I received:

Many people wonder exactly how encryption works. People think that encryption is the same thing as coding when in fact it is very different. Computer code is used to create software while encryption is used to disguise a message from the public. Coding such as ASCII and EBCDIC are used to create data that is publicly shared. With encryption, when you first put in a message, its goes in as plaintext. Plaintext is the text in its original form when it has not been encrypted. A message that has been encrypted is known as ciphertext. The process of converting plaintext to ciphertext is known as encryption. The process of changing ciphertext into plaintext is known as decryption (Parsons 328).

In order to encrypt a message you need to use a cryptographic algorithm key. A cryptographic key can be a word, phrase or number that has to be known in order to encrypt or decrypt a message. Caesar created his own encryption method known as simple substitution. His encryption was to change the alphabet to start with D and continue with the alphabet from there. When he reached...

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...n use your private key to encrypt them. It is basically the safest way to send e-mail.

As I mentioned before, most people believe that encryption is a very complex process when in often it is very simple. Weak encryptions such as Caesars simple substation method prove how simple encryption can really be. Strong encryption can be nearly impossible to crack. You need a special computer and it can take a long time to figure out the message. Encryption such as the PGP method, are used to keep privacy through e-mails. Overall, encryption is mainly used for privacy and protection in all types of situations.

Works cited

Parsons, June Jamrich, Dan Oja. New Perspectives on Computer Concepts 8th Edition.

Boston, MA: Course Technology.
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