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Encryption

November 30, 2000

Encryption is the encoding of data with a mathematical formula, or algorithm, so that the information is unreadable by all but its intended recipient. The essential element in encryption is the key--a sequence of symbols used by the algorithm to create the coded message for the sender and to decode it for the recipient. There are two main forms of encryption--symmetric key and public key.

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Researched by VICKI GALLAY/Los Angeles Times

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