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Exploring the Differences between symmetric and asymmetric encryption

What is symmetric encryption?

The Caesar Cipher is an example of symmetric encryption, designed to ensure that plain text is replaced by ciphertext, appearing to be gibberish. The message sender uses an algorithm and ‘key’ to encrypt it and the recipient reverses the processes, using the same algorithm and key.

What is asymmetric encryption?

To overcome this, researchers came up with ‘public key’ or asymmetric encryption, using complicated mathematics to create two tightly connected keys per person. One is public and the other is private. If Bob encrypts a message using Alice’s public key, she can decrypt it using her private key, hence the asymmetry. Alice can give everyone her public key so that they can all send encrypted messages to her. This is quite safe because only Alice can decrypt her messages with her private key which she keeps secret.

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