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What is Encryption ?

Encryption – Coding or scrambling of information in a file so that it can only be decoded and read by someone who has the correct decoding key. Encryption’s is commonly used in e-mail and other data transfer so that if someone were to intercept the message or data it would not be readable.

Encryption is a means of securing digital data using an algorithm and a password, or key. The encryptions process translates information using an algorithm that turns plain text unreadable. When an authorized user needs to read the data, they may decrypt the data using a binary key.

Encryptions is an important way for individuals and companies to protect sensitive information from hacking. For example, websites that transmit credit card and bank account numbers should always encrypt this information to prevent identity theft and fraud.

Pay2Amigos BREAKING DOWN ‘Encryption’

Encryptions strength depends on the length of the encryption security key. In the latter quarter of the 20th century, web developers used either 40 bit encryptions, which is a key with 240 possible permutations, or 56 bit encryption. However, by the end of the century hackers could break those keys through brute-force attacks. This led to a 128 bit system as the standard encryptions length for web browsers.

The Advanced Encryptions Standard (AES) is a protocol for data encryptions created in 2001 by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. AES uses a 128 bit block size, and key lengths of 128, 192 and 256 bits.

AES uses a symmetric-key algorithm, meaning the same key is used for both encrypting and decrypting the data. Asymmetric-key algorithms use different keys for the encryption and decryption processes.

Today, 128-bit encryptions is standard but most banks, militaries and governments use 256-bit encryptions.

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