Keeping private information entirely private is
something cytologists have been dealing with for
centuries. In modern times, data encryption has become
more involved and harder to decode. Public key
encryption is a set of “keys” used to encode and decode
information transmitted through different channels such
as the Internet and email. The key pair is a set
comprised of a public key and a private key.
Anyone who wants to use the key system to encode and
decode messages must apply for the key set particular to
that person. The person who applied for the keys then
gives his public encryption key to the people who send
him messages. The person who wants to send a message
privately then uses that public key to encrypt the
message and send it to the intended person with the
private key. The initial person with the private key
then decodes the information and reads it. While only
one person may have a private key, many people can use
the same public key.
The keys are created using special algorithms, called
asymmetrical algorithms, to form a mathematical pair,
the public and private key. The use of these keys allows
a digital signature to be rendered within the
information, usually at the end of the message, which
can only be read with the proper key. Attempting to
break the code can take literally hours.
An example of public key data encryption is the military
grade PGP, or Pretty Good Privacy. This type of key uses
a browser plug-in, which has the ability to encode
outgoing information and encode incoming information in
real time. The plug-ins keep a record of all email
addresses using the different public keys and
automatically uses the proper key associated with the
reader’s email. However, for this browser method to
work, all browsers involved with the sending and
receiving of the information need the plug-in installed.
You can also use this type of encryption to store
personal information on the hard drive of a computer, or
on any memory cards or flash drives using the same
public and private key method.
This is the type of encryption used by many major
corporations around the world. When a person receives
security messages in their inbox, it will have this code
at the end of the message instructing the reader to go
to a link to receive the decoding key. This is how the
security companies can send their sensitive information
to readers while the readers of the information reliably
know the information is from whom it says. If the
message received by those with the proper key does not
read properly, or does not decode the message, the
message is a fake.
While key encryption has many different methods, the
public and private key method is one of the most widely
available and most popular. It is easy to obtain a key
set, as many companies make them available to their
users and readers of newsletters. This kind of data
encryption is used by many companies around the world
and has proven a safe and secure method.
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