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What is Encryption in Computer Software?

Every modern computer has a tool that can encrypt data to make it unreadable to anyone without the proper key. What is encryption and how does it function? This article explains the fundamentals of encryption and how it can be used to secure sensitive information from hackers.

In simple terms, data encryption converts textual information into encryption that can be deciphered by authorized users with the right password. It is a vital element of cyber security that guarantees security of data and keeps sensitive data out of the fingers of users who are not authorized.

A common type employs mathematical models that are cryptographic to transform the original data into a jumbled set of characters (also known as ciphertext). Encryption algorithms “scrambles” individual bits randomly so that it would take an immense amount of computing power to find the key and then convert it back to plaintext.

For instance, if you make use of the most widely used type of encryption, known as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) on your digital files, each one of the ones and zeros that make up it is scrambled ten times, creating an uni-random pattern. It would take a computer some time to reorder all the numbers in the proper order without a key.

The encryption process also helps prevent the leak of information and attacks by ransomware. Hackers who gain access to encrypted data can’t read the information, and cannot threaten the company, or the individual involved with the threat to release the stolen information onto the dark web. Furthermore, encryption protects backup systems from hackers as they aren’t able access the data in its original format.

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