Understanding Encryption Basics

Encryption, simply defined, is the process of taking intelligible information and scrambling it so as to make it unintelligible for anyone except the user or computer that is the destination of this information. Without going into too much detail on the exact methods of encrypting data, the important point to understand is that proper encryption allows this data to travel across unsecured networks, such as the Internet, and be translated only by the designated destination. If packets of properly encrypted information are intercepted, they are worthless because the information is garbled. All mechanisms described in this chapter use some form of encryption to secure the contents of the data sent.

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