Public Key Encryption
With this type of encryption, two different keys are used. There’s a public key and there’s a private key. For example, if a person wants to send encrypted data over the internet, the public key is used to encrypt the data; however, the data can only be encrypted by the recipient using their private key.
This method can be used to send secure emails and to digitally sign the documents. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and its newer method, the Transport Layer Security (TLS), are examples of public key encryption systems.
Symmetric Key Encryption
In this method of encryption, both the sender and the receiver use the same encryption key. This simplifies the process and makes it faster. Nonetheless, the key and the data can be compromised while in transit over the internet. Data Encryption Standard (DES) was a type of symmetric key encryption that is replaced by a more modern Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
Encryption of Data
The advantages of encryption aren’t just limited to the internet; you can encrypt your data on your computer, your USB storage devices, hard drives, mobile devices and numerous other data storage devices in order to prevent misuse of data if your devices are lost or stolen.
Importance of Encryption
As learnt from the latest information technology news, the number of cyber crimes is on the rise and this makes it necessary for computer users to keep their data safe from hackers. Large corporations and governments require high levels of encryption in order to protect their sensitive plans such as business secrets and confidential data. It also gives us peace of mind that our data is not getting into the wrong hands.