As technology evolves, new systems and programs are developed as well. From its earlier days, cryptography has advanced tremendously. In today’s world, computer passwords, ATM cards, and all kinds of electronic commerce use cryptography.
Cryptography is the study and practice of hiding information. The word’s two parts mean “hidden, secret” and “I write.” In most cases, the word cryptography refers to what people think of as encryption which is the process of rearranging regular information into gibberish that can only be deciphered if you know how to do it. To accurately decode an encryption, you need a cipher, or pair of algorithms that can both convert the information and then convert it back. However, cryptography has been around since ancient Greece.
There are three main types of cryptography techniques – symmetric-key cryptography, public-key cryptography, and cryptanalysis. Symmetric-key cryptography refers to a situation where both the receiver and the sender of information share the same key. Public-key cryptography refers to a system that uses the same key for both encryption and decryption of messages even if the messages have different keys. Cryptanalysis actually has to do with finding weaknesses in a specific cryptographic scheme.
These types of systems are used in electronic commerce, affecting any kind of business that takes place over the internet. If you’re buying something from a website, you’re participating in electric commerce. Sites like online stores need cryptography to be able to keep the names, addresses, and credit card numbers of their clients safe and protected. In this way, even if a hacker manages to hack into the system, they cannot decode these things.
Security on the internet can be a very complicated thing. Computers remain secure by locking anything unwanted out, but when you’re on the internet, you literally open up a channel directly to your PC, exposing your personal information as well. That’s why cryptography is used as a security measure so that any personal information that leaves your computer is encoded, only decipherable by specific sites.
This is accomplished with “cryptography tools.” They’re not physical tools. Instead, they are programs which provide command-line tools for signature verification and code signing. Examples include digital certificates as well as hash and digital signatures.
As with most things, there are laws governing the use of cryptography. It’s often considered an issue of civil rights because it deals with issues like privacy. In some countries, any type of cryptography is restricted. In the United States, commercial cryptography is common, but import and export of cryptography is more controversial. At one point after World War II, it even became illegal. It is now in use much more widely. Without a doubt, cryptography is extremely important in today’s world.
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