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What is Encryption in Computer Software?

Every modern computer has tools for encrypting data to make it unreadable by unauthorized parties without the proper key. What exactly is encryption, and how does it work? This article explains how encryption protects sensitive information from hackers.

In simplest words, data encryption converts readable information into coded ciphertext that can only be deciphered only by authorized users with the appropriate password. It is a vital element of cyber security that ensures data privacy and keeps sensitive information out of the hands of unauthorized users.

A popular form of encryption makes use of cryptographic mathematical models to turn the original information into a muddled collection of characters that aren’t read (known as ciphertext). The encryption algorithm “scrambles” individual bits randomly so that it requires a huge amount of computing power to determine the key and then convert it back to plaintext.

For instance, if you employ the most commonly used form of encryption referred to as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) on your digital files, each one of the ones and zeros that comprise it is scrambled 10 times in an uni-random pattern. It will take a computer a long time to rearrange all the numbers in the right order without a key.

It also helps to stop data leaks and ransomware attacks. Hackers who gain access to encrypted data cannot read the data and cannot threaten the company, or the individual responsible, with the threat to release the stolen information to the dark web. Additionally, encryption safeguards backup systems from hackers because they can’t access the information in its original format.

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