Encrypting is the process by which information in regular text, otherwise known as plaintext, is changed into a form that renders it incomprehensible to most people. Only people who are familiar with the algorithm or cipher will be able to interpret the “ciphertext” and use it for the intended purpose of the original text.
Decryption, on the other hand, refers to the process by which encrypted data is made readable. Anonymizers, for example, take data from the user’s computer and encrypt it. This information could go directly to the target website or could pass through several computers before it is sent. Before the result is sent back to the user, the data is decrypted in order to make the information requested available and comprehensible.
Encryption is a process that has been used for a long time by governments and secret service agents in the handling of classified information. Now, encryption is being used in several spheres of human activity.
Many companies use encryption in order to protect their data, for both transfer and storage purposes. It can also be used by individuals who wish to protect their data. Laptops, for instance, can be very easily stolen, and private information may be compromised. The user can help avoid this by using encryption tools for personal purposes.
Encryption also takes place when a user connects to the Internet using a secure server. If, for example, a user uses https instead of http when accessing his or her email, the web browser encrypts the data, such that anyone who tries to intercept it won’t find anything meaningful.