Glossary

ProgrammableWeb's glossary of API and other technology terms and defination
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X
Encryption

Encryption is the process of turning data into a coded message. Encoding information helps keep it secret, thus improving the security of communications. Digital files that are encrypted are unreadable and require a key to be unlocked. Thus, a cryptographic system will provide a means of authentication to share keys only with authorized users. Encryption involves advanced algorithms. For example, RSA, an asymmetric public-key method, is the standard format for encrypting data on the Internet. Encryption algorithms can take a long time and significant processing power to crack. Encryption helps ensure only users with the correct permissions can access sensitive material. This is especially crucial for data while in transit over the web, where non-authorized actors may intercept traffic. By making data unintelligible, encryption helps prevent hackers from using information for nefarious purposes.