Essentially, cryptography involves the conversion of information into unintelligible text for subsequent transmission past unintended third parties (“encryption”), with the intended recipient then converting the text back into intelligible form (“decryption”). For the purposes of this article, “data encryption” will be the term utilized to describe the entire process. In the online age, data encryption is favored as a means of transmitting confidential information across public spaces, whether literal or virtual, without a concomitant disclosure of the contents of the confidential information to unintended recipients. Unsurprisingly, a substantial transmission of encrypted data travels through virtual portals like the Internet. Though data encryption was once largely limited to the dissemination of military and government information, it is now employed for a myriad of reasons applicable to the average user, including for basic activities such as Web browsing and online transactions.
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