Understanding encryption

Encryption is an important part of secure communications. Encryption ensures that only the senders and intended recipients of information can view it. Encryption is essential to protecting security and privacy. This is because there is no guarantee that a third party will not intercept a message sent over the Internet.

Encryption is a mathematical technique that turns useable information, called plaintext, into unreadable code called ciphertext. Turning ciphertext back into plaintext is decryption and is done by the recipient.  Encryption can be applied to many forms of communication including websites and emails.  

Reputable companies and organizations that send and receive personal information via the Internet will use encryption to protect themselves and their customers.

If your business accepts personal information you should make use of encryption.

You should always verify a website’s security credentials before sending personal information to ensure it will be properly encrypted.  One way you can do this is to look at the address bar on your web browser. Most browsers will display a padlock icon in the address bar if the site you have connected to uses encryption. 

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