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Encryption of Messages

Introduction

The world is in an era full of insecurities not only in the societies but a widespread to the technology section. Important information with value to a person, organization or governments has to be protected apart from just being stored in secure places. Due to the advancement of technology in the world today, most of these messages are no longer stored in hard copies but rather soft copies stored in drives and computers. Further advancement of technology has also enabled the spread of insecurity mainly to this kind of information, making it possible to steal and view messages right while sitting at the comfort of your room. It is due to this reason that technicians and specialists in current technology had to come with a way of protecting the messages and important information from being stolen or being viewed without permission. Encryption of messages is the process involving encoding of information or messages in a way that will allow only the authorized people to have access to it.

The process, however, does not prevent people from intercepting the message, only that the interceptor will not have access to the very message. The message or information that was meant to be communicated through is referred to as the plaintext, and one can only have access to it after decrypting a certain code using various techniques known to the receiver or the party owning the information. This has become a critical advancement in the field of information and technology since most people and organization have benefited from it. This paper intends to internalize and explains in details encryption of messages and more so suggest ways in which the encrypted messages can be made accessible by the recipients.

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Importance and Uses

Encryption of messages and information has been identified as the safest way of achieving data security since everybody is denied access to the encrypted message unless one has the password or the code that has been put for encryption. Encryption was invented ages ago and has only come to be improved recently, by the current technology. It was long used mostly by government agencies and the military to protect messages that were considered important and therefore need to facilitate secrecy in the communication involved. In the current period, however, encryption is being used by other parties and many other kinds of systems owned by civilians. This mainly resulted due to the recent reports in businesses and other agencies for a leak of details and information of clients and personal records of people to the public. Most of these cases occurred when people lost their phones or laptops with their personal data in them and with direct access by anybody who could get hold of the items.

Apart from the messages stored in only laptops and phones, other gadgets such as flash drives and compact disks could also get lost and result in an exposure of important and personal information that would rather not accessed by any other person but the owner. Encryption is also applicable to the data in transit, apart from only the stored and at rest messages. According to research, in 2007, 75% of the companies surveyed, were found to use encryption to the data that they were transporting from one geographical region to another. Most of this data were the information being transferred through networks, wireless phones, Bluetooth devices and many other systems.

Ways of Encryption and Decrypting Of Messages

There are different ways in which the messages intended to be protected can be encrypted, and access to it reduced to very few parties. The symmetric key is among the common types of encryptions existing in the current technology and also served in the past era. Here, both the encryption process and the decryption process are the same. The parties between which the messages is intended to communicate to must have the same key before encrypting the message, to ensure that the message can be accessible both to the sender and the recipient as intended. A Bluetooth device is a perfect example of this case, whereby the message being transmitted from one party to the other must share the same key pass to have the information shared across both sides.

Decrypting the messages in this type of encryption involves the party sending the information, sharing their pass code to the receiver in order for them to have access to the encrypted message and able to decrypt them. Therefore, the receivers have to input the very pass code provided by the sender which is confidential. Security is highly maintained due to the key since the device can only share a piece of the intended information without exposure to other parties. Incidences of breakage of encryption under this type normally take place following a possible hack by other parties with minimal information on the key parties. Since only the receiver and the sender have the access to the message, the hacker may target either parties and hack through their systems in order to acquire access. This situation normally happens when messages or information are being transferred through a certain network.

Public-key encryption is another type of encryption commonly used to the public, as the encryption key is made available to the public for anyone to have access and use the encrypted message. Research indicate that public-key system of encryption was described in a document that was secret to the public in the year 1974, whereby before that period all the encryption systems were based on private keys. A good example of the public-key encryption is an application developed by Phil Zimmerman in the year 1991, which was later distributed free of charge with source code. This is mainly used in computers in the storage and transit of important documents meant to reach some people in public.

In this type of encryption, very few people are provided the key to be used in decryption and no one else. If the parties don’t feel comfortable providing the key to certain individuals, then the individuals will not have any access to the information, whatsoever. In decrypting the encrypted information, the source code enables them to view the coded message that no one else without the code would have access to. The system is however based on updates from time to time to maintain its originality of security, on a regular basis and is also done to ensure that the information stays encrypted always. Breakage of decryption here normally happens if a person shares their access codes to someone else, either forcefully or willingly, thereby allowing access to the message even to a person that was never meant to have access originally. 

The cryptographic hash is the thirdtype of encryption having a slight difference from the other systems of encryption. The type also plays a different role in securing information, used in various aspects of information security like the digital signatures by individuals and also integrity checks on data. In this case, an electronic file or message is taken, and from it a short digital fingerprint with the content is developed known as a hash value. There are various examples of where this encryption is used, including as keys to vaults and highly secured buildings where only the fingerprint with the piece of information can act as the key.

For decryption to take place under this type of encryption, a digital surface synchronized by the fingerprint is installed to the required regions or access to be secured. The party with the fingerprint can then place the finger on the surface where an automatic detection of the fingerprint by the device automatically opens the vault or the door depending on the intended region that the message encrypted is secured. Breaking the encryption under this type of encryption may occur in case of hacking into the system in its original stage of encryption. Here, the hacker will be able to decrypt the secured information as he may have the exact duplicate of the same.

Conclusion

Due to the high demand for the increase of security on messages and information in the world today, encryption has become of great importance as it has enabled people, organizations and governments secure their private information and details. Encryption as a system is old and has overcome various changes and improvements over years leading to a higher security of information overtime. With encryption, a cipher text is generated from the information and can only be made accessible and used in its original form by the process of encryption, where a procedure that involves a correct key has to be used. Decryption, therefore, is the exact opposite of encryption since it involves closing and opening for the right party to which the message was intended to reach.

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