What is Cryptography in Cyber Security: A Beginner’s Guide

Have you ever wondered how the messages you send online stay private and secure? This is where the magic of cryptography comes in. Think of cryptography as a superhero in the world of cyber security. It’s a way to keep your information safe and sound from the bad guys. In this blog, we’ll dive into the exciting world of cryptography, showing you examples, explaining its types, and highlighting its crucial role in network security. We’ll also explore the application of cryptography in cyber security, making sure everything is explained in simple, easy-to-understand language. So, let’s start our journey into the realm of cryptography and unlock the secrets of keeping our digital lives secure.

Understanding Cryptography with Examples

Cryptography is like a secret code. It scrambles your messages or information in such a way that only the person who has the key can read it. For example, when you send a message to your friend over the internet, cryptography changes your readable message into a secret code. Your friend, who has the key, can change this code back into the message. This process keeps your conversation private.

There are many ways to create these secret codes, known as types of cryptography. One common type is where both you and your friend use the same key to lock and unlock the message. Another type is where you use one key to lock (or encrypt) the message, but your friend needs a different key to unlock (or decrypt) it. These methods ensure that even if someone else finds your message, they can’t read it without the key.

Cryptography is not just about sending secret messages. It’s a crucial part of keeping our online world safe. It protects our personal information on websites, secures the transactions we make, and even keeps our emails away from prying eyes. In other words, cryptography is everywhere in cyber security.

The Types of Cryptography

There are mainly three types of cryptography: Symmetric, Asymmetric, and Hash Functions. 

Symmetric cryptography: 

Symmetric cryptography is like having a single key that both locks and unlocks your house door. Both the sender and the receiver use the same key, making it fast but a bit risky if the key is lost.

Think of it like a secret handshake. You and your friend know exactly how to do it. In this type, both of you use the same secret code to lock and unlock the message. It’s quick and easy but remember, if someone else learns the handshake, your secret is out.

Asymmetric cryptography:

Asymmetric cryptography, on the other hand, is like having a mailbox at your house. Anyone can drop a letter in (encrypt the message), but only you have the key to open it and read the letter (decrypt the message). This method uses two keys, making it more secure. 

This one is like having a secret box with two keys. One key locks the box, and a different key unlocks it. You send the locked box to your friend, and only they have the key to open it. It’s safer because you don’t share the same key, making it harder for others to peek inside.

Hash Functions:

Hash Functions are a bit different. They take your message and turn it into a mixed-up string of characters, like a fingerprint. This fingerprint can’t be turned back into the message, which is great for checking if the message was tampered with during its journey.

Imagine you turn your message into a puzzle that can’t be put back together. This is great for checking if someone changed your message because if they did, the puzzle pieces won’t match up.

Each of these types has its own way of keeping secrets safe, and they’re all super important in the world of cyber security.

Cryptography and Network Security

cryptography in cybersecurity

In the world of network security, cryptography is like a guardian angel. It ensures that the data moving across the internet is protected from hackers and cyber threats. When you enter your credit card information on a website, cryptography scrambles it, so even if someone intercepts it, they can’t use it.

Cryptography also helps in creating secure connections, like when you see “HTTPS” in your browser’s address bar. This means the website is using cryptography to protect the data you share with it.

Application of Cryptography in Cyber Security

Cryptography finds its application in numerous aspects of cyber security. From securing emails and sensitive documents to protecting the identity of users online, cryptography is there to save the day. It is also used in digital signatures, which are like virtual fingerprints, confirming the identity of the sender and ensuring the message hasn’t been changed.

Moreover, in the blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, cryptography is used to secure transactions and create trust between parties without the need for a central authority.

Cryptography is like the invisible shield that keeps our digital world safe. It’s used in so many ways to protect information from the wrong hands. Let’s break down how it helps in cyber security with some examples to make it super clear.

First, think about when you send an email. You wouldn’t want just anyone reading it, right? Cryptography steps in to scramble your email into a code that only the person you’re sending it to can decode and read. It’s like sending a letter in a locked box, and only your friend has the key.

Then, there’s online shopping. When you buy something on the internet, you have to give your credit card info. Cryptography encrypts this info, turning it into a secret code as it travels to the store’s website. This way, even if someone sneaky tries to grab it mid-journey, all they get is gibberish.

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Also, cryptography is behind the green lock icon you see in your web browser’s address bar. This icon means the website is using cryptography to create a secure connection, keeping the information you exchange with the site safe and sound.

And let’s not forget about digital signatures. Just like your handwritten signature confirms it’s really you, digital signatures use cryptography to verify that an electronic document or message truly comes from who it says it does. It’s like a seal of approval that’s nearly impossible to fake.

In all these examples, cryptography is the hero working behind the scenes, guarding our emails, shopping, and even making sure the websites we visit and the documents we sign are secure and trustworthy.


Cryptography is not just a tool but a foundation of modern cyber security. Its application spans from securing our personal messages to protecting the global digital infrastructure. As technology evolves, so does cryptography, always a step ahead of the threats, ensuring our digital world remains a safe place to explore, communicate, and do business.

In conclusion, cryptography is the secret sauce behind the security of our digital lives. From using examples of everyday online activities, we see its critical role in protecting our information. Understanding the types of cryptography helps us appreciate the technology keeping our networks secure. And recognizing its application in cyber security shows just how indispensable cryptography is. So next time you send a message, make a payment, or sign into a website, remember the invisible guardian working tirelessly to keep your digital world safe.

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