A lot of people know at least a little about cryptosystems. For instance, if you have an e-mail account, you probably either know at least some of the standard information that is passed around in cyberspace or have at least heard the term “crypto”. But what does “crypto” mean, and why should we care about it? In this article we’ll go over the basics of cryptosystems and how they can be used on a daily basis by anyone who has an e-mail address.
A Cryptosystem is a program that encodes and decodes data that is sent or received on a computer. This includes both text and binary data and random information. A typical cryptosystem will be implemented as part of an application, so that a user can send a file to be converted to a different format, and have the conversion software make the necessary changes without having to open up the file in the program in question. This makes for much faster communication, since there are no extra delays involved. In some cases, this may include having to convert a credit card number to uppercase one.
A Cryptosystem can encrypt information that travels across a network of computers. Encryption happens when data is sent over a network of computers and is received in a form that is readable only by the parties involved in the communication. Decryption occurs when that same data is reversed, so that only the intended message is readable again. Encryption and decryption are often done within the same software, which simplifies matters somewhat.
What makes a cryptosystem unique is the way in which it is implemented. Some cryptosystems use algorithms to generate the key that must be used to unlock the secret data. Other cryptosystems use a technique called Diffie-Hellman. This uses two large prime numbers to create a large enough prime number that is difficult to break. Still others use a technique called elliptical encryption, which means that the data itself is unbreakable but the mathematical problems that make it possible are not. All of these methods, although very different, can be combined into a single system that makes it possible to use more than one factor for encryption and decryption of data.
Why should you care about a cryptosystem is that it makes it possible for you to use a password to secure many different areas of your computer. Passwords protect login information and other information that should be protected from unauthorized use. It also keeps track of passwords, making it impossible for anyone to randomly guess your password. Furthermore, using a cryptosystem gives you an added layer of security, because if your computer is stolen, or lost, you will have a way of logging in again. If you use a highly popular and well known cryptosystem, this is an extremely easy task to accomplish.
Why should you care about a cryptosystem is that it can provide you with additional functionality. For instance, some software will allow you to store a large amount of data on your computer, while others will give you the ability to access this data from multiple locations. Furthermore, if you happen to change computers (as many of us do from time to time) you can take your existing cryptosystem with you. This is an extremely useful feature, especially when you move house or get hired because you want to continue using your current software platform.
Why should you care about a cryptosystem is because it can be extremely economical. When you go online you spend a lot of time typing in passwords, which can add up to a significant expense over time. A good cryptosystem however, is completely free of charge and only requires your computer to have access to the Internet. Furthermore, it won’t slow down your computer down at all and won’t use any additional resources. As you can see, it is entirely possible for anyone to setup a cryptosystem without spending a single cent – the only thing you have to pay attention to is making sure that you use the right software and you use a strong password.
So why should you care about a cryptosystem? If you want to password protect your files at home or at work you absolutely must. For larger groups of people however, the benefits don’t end there. If you use a cryptosystem at your job, you can essentially set up a secure tunnel between all of the computers at your company. This way you can ensure that every employee has access to the same information at the same time, and prevents network problems. Finally, if you happen to change computers (as we tend to do from time to time) you can take your old password along with you and simply copy it onto a new disc and load it into the new system.