Math in Computing

Applications

What is cryptography?

Because of the extensive connections between computers across the Internet, it has become necessary to find ways to protect data and messages from tampering or reading. This includes protecting people’s personal information when they buy things over the Internet and those who need to keep banking data secure. One of the major techniques for ensuring such privacy of files and communications is called cryptography.

Cryptography is a mathematical science used to secure the confidentiality (and authentication) of data sent by a user to a certain site. It secures the data by replacing it with a transformed version that can then be reconverted to show the original data, but only by someone with the correct cryptographic algorithm and key. This is why, when ordering over the Internet, it is important to see the “lock” icon at the bottom of the screen. This is your way of knowing that cryptography is working and the data is secure, thus preventing the data’s unauthorized use.



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