Surfing the net on a secured network
Network Communication: Public Key Encryption
In this day and age everyone is enjoying the extensive amount of information zooming past on the internet. In actuality, our devices our communicating with servers all over the world via networks. It is very important to not only enjoy the ride but to also be safe! As a result, network communication requires a lot of security. For example, if a computer sends information to another computer connected to a network then the information should be encrypted.
Data encryption means to convert plain-text (original text) into cipher-text (secret text) so that no intruder, or a person with bad intentions, could read that message. There are two encryption techniques for data encryption. One is Private Key Encryption and another is Public Key Encryption.
Today I will discuss the more popular of the two, Public Key Encryption. That is because this method is most commonly used in network connections. Public Key Encryption is also known as Asymmetric Key Encryption.
To begin let’s start with the main components of encryption. The encryption of any message requires two things. One is an encryption algorithm and the other is an encryption key. Similarly, for decrypting a message a decryption algorithm and decryption key are required.
A key actually is a number or code which works via an algorithm to scramble or unscramble messages. Whereas an algorithm is simply a set of rules to be followed to solve a problem — or anything really.
How does public key encryption really work?
Consider that there are two persons in a park having a conversation. This would be our network connection. One person, Tiffany, who is sending a message to another person, Henry.
Hence, Tiffany is the sender and Henry is a receiver.
In Public Key Encryption two keys are used; a public key and a private key. Both keys are generated by the receiver.
What that means is, Henry would create a public key. For the sake of our story, let’s call it a gesture to welcome a conversation —like a smile. So that anyone in the park (not just Tiffany) could see that smile including a person whose intention is to be mean to Henry.
Tiffany will encrypt the message using that public key and then send her own message to Henry. In other words, she saw his smile and approached him with a conversation.
He will then read the message by decrypting it using the private key that he also just created. This is similar to how the human brain works during a conversation.
By definition, communication hasn’t occurred until there is understanding between the messages being sent and the receivers. This is exactly what is going on now.
Henry began with his open gesture, Tiffany responded by coming to start a conversation.
Note well that anybody else in the park could have seen that gesture and done the same thing.
Seeing Tiffany coming, Henry creates a private key just for her so that no one else could understand their conversation. He would create another private key had another person, Hannah, responded to his gesture. This means that while having a conversation that only he and Tiffany could understand, he could also be having one with Hannah that only the two of them could.
This is secured network communication in a nut shell. The way to help achieve this encryption with your website would be through an SSL certificate. You may have noticed the green padlock in your web browser’s search bar. The ‘s’ in https stands for Secure. This indicates that the website is on a secured network.
Https: How does the SSL certificate work with your browser?
Http stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol while Https is the secured version. Some browsers display the full URL including ‘https://’ while others may not. The important thing however, is understanding what having https really means.
To explain, let’s go back to our story. Henry acts as the SSL certificate and Tiffany would be anyone browsing the internet. The certificate, Henry, is open to conversation and the second he receives a connection he begins to create a private line (key) for an uninterrupted conversation. Tiffany, and only Tiffany, has access to that line until she is ready to leave the park and go home.
This helps fight off hackers, malicious software and other possible attacks on your private information. That is to say it gives users a secured network connection. As a result customer information, like credit cards, is encrypted and can not be intercepted.
Therefore, by having an SSL certificate on your website you are not only providing a secured network connection. You are also providing your valued customers with peace of mind. They can trust and complete purchases on your website.
This sounds amazing, where do I begin?
Sign up for our unlimited everything hosting plan and enjoy a free SSL certificate. That’s right, there is no added cost for all the added value of having the certificate.
It’s sort of our philosophy; we put the ‘Easy’ in Easy Dzyne.
Have a look at all the other features provided in our hosting plan. We are here to assist you if you have any questions.
We would also love to hear from you. How has your experience been with network communication and malicious attempts? Drop us a comment, you never know who you may be saving just by sharing your experience.
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