Have you ever sent a message to a specific person without eavesdroppers knowing what it was? If you have done so successfully, then you have utilized encryption. Encryption is the process of converting messages, information or data into a form unreadable by anyone except the intended recipient. The aim of encryption is not to hide the existence of a message, but rather to hide its meaning. It utilizes a particular algorithm or key that would have been agreed on beforehand between the sender and the intended recipient. Without this algorithm or key, the message will be unintelligible. Upon receipt of the message, the receiver is able to reverse the scrambling algorithm and make the message comprehensible. This reversal of the encrypted or ciphered text is referred to as decryption.
Unsuspectingly, you use or experience it on a daily basis. Whenever you visit websites that transmit sensitive information such as username, password or credit card details, the connection will be established using https, which is an encryption protocol. Otherwise, anyone could intercept the connection, steal your data and easily understand it. Social networking sites, e-commerce websites, Aeorion, and recently WhatsApp, have adopted data encryption standards on their platforms.
The Ceasar Cipher
Numerous complex algorithms exist which only computers are able to encrypt and decrypt data using them. An example of a simple method is the Caesar cipher which is suspected to have been used by the ancient Roman Caesars. This method encrypts text by shifting each letter by the key/number given. For example: (Hello +2) would be JGNNQ.
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Written by Abby-gaye Gordon