Encryption is a mathematical algorithm that converts selected data to an unrecognizable format to unauthorized parties. It is usually used to keep sensitive information safe, especially if it needs to be sent over wireless networks or the Internet. The data will appear unrecognizable until it is decrypted again. Decryption normally involves the use of either passwords or private keys to unlock the encrypted data. There are numerous software utilities available that can encrypt data, such as GnuPG or AxCrypt. Some file compression packages such as 7-zip also has the capabilities to encrypt data. Secure websites using HTTPS also encrypts data transfers between the web server and the user’s browser.
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