A cryptography has been around in its earliest forms for the centuries. One of the earliest known facts of cryptography was by Julius Caesar when he didn’t trust his messengers and replaced every A by D, every B by E, every C by F… in his messages so that only the one who knows shift by three rule could actually read & understand the messages. Of course, that was one of the simplest and one of the earliest form of cryptography, what is cryptography in computer science in the modern times is way different, much more complex and much more advanced.
Unlike in old times, nowadays we have machines like computers and servers which allow us to encrypt and decrypt important data within seconds, automatically, so there is no need to manually do the hard job of encrypting or decrypting, but that does not mean that it is easier in any way. The modern encrypted information is nearly impossible to decrypt if you don’t know how all of that works and you don’t have necessary decryption keys. Of course, you can learn cryptography online from your comfortable house and become a master of it, but the learning process will not be a piece of cake even if you are doing it online, from your home as modern cryptography is complex in its nature for maximum security.
Before one decides to become a master of cryptography, it is a good idea to fully understand what it is, how it works, who uses it and for what. Let’s answer all the questions one by one.
What is Cryptography?
Cryptography is a rule of encrypting sensitive & important information in such manner that it becomes useless for everyone who can’t decrypt it. A well-encrypted information is impossible to open, read or understand, impossible for everyone including machines such as computers & servers or human beings.
There were times when cryptography was exclusive to government, military, and billionaires, but thanks to the evolution of modern technologies and the world, it becomes very common, widely used way, available for everyone. Nowadays everyone can encrypt their data for free, easily in a little time, but unfortunately not many use it on daily basis…
Regular people think that encryption is only needed by people who have a lot of money and very important information, but actually, in our age of internet where data privacy is always at risk and hacking attacks daily events, it is a good idea even for regular people to keep their private & important data protected by cryptography.
While most of the people don’t use cryptography and encryption to protect their data, most apps, websites and other digital products that have access to your private data encrypt it before transferring to their servers, so they can protect your privacy.
Before there was cryptography available for everyone, it was a big risk to use your credit card for online purchases or enter your personal sensitive information such as passwords to even trustable websites and apps as there was always a high risk that someone in the transfer process will steal your data away and use it in many harmful ways. E-commerce and online stores had a lot of trouble of protecting customer data as it was always an easy target for hackers.
Thanks to the appearance of advanced encryption algorithms and digital cryptography, data leaks is less problem now as most of the times any sensitive data is transferred online, it is transferred encrypted so there are no risks of hackers getting their hands on unprotected, sensitive data.
How Does Cryptography work?
As cryptography is very complex and advanced technique nowadays which involves many algorithms to ensure maximum safety, there are too many deep details involved in the process of cryptography, but that is how encryption mechanism works basically:
A sensitive information is used to generate encrypted data and special keys which can be used for decryption, the encrypted data is transferred to the desired location, the receiver has necessary keys and information which is used to convert encrypted data back to normal, usable data.
Both, encrypted data and decryption keys are useless without each other.
Who use Cryptography and why?
Nowadays, cryptography is used by all reliable online stores, any website or app that requires sensitive data such as credit card info or passwords, operating systems such as Android to protect its user’s data and social networks such as Facebook to ensure all their data stays secure while transferred or saved for no usage.
For anyone who is interested in cryptography and is looking for an answer to questions like what is cryptography in computer science or why it is used, to put it simply, it is a necessary technology in modern days used by nearly all digital products that have any relation with sensitive data.