## Encryption is Like Mixing a Margarita

Most people know that encryption is the process of encoding information (ciphering) in such a way that only the person or computer with the key can decode it. But what is actually happening can get a little hard to wrap your mind around. Perhaps this can clarify.

**Algorithm:** Ciphers are referred to as algorithms, which is a series of steps or the “guide” for the encryption process. An algorithm provides the directions and gives a certain range of possible combinations to create the encoded message.

**Key:** The encryption key helps a person or computer figure out the one possibility utilized on a particular encryption process. A key is a sequence of digital bits that works with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt the message

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Algorithms and keys interrelate similar to how directions and ingredients work together in a recipe. You must have both pieces of knowledge to create a tasty dish. Likewise, the algorithm and the key infuse to transform the data in your file from plain text to cipher text. For example:

**The Algorithm gives you the steps (The Directions)**

Put ingredients in a blender

Mix on high speed until fully processed

Pour liquid into a glass

Serve immediately

**The Key tells the variables (The Ingredients)**

Strawberries

Lime Juice

Yogurt

Ice

The resulting concoction is a Smoothie.

What if you used the same directions, but changed one ingredient?*Remove Yogurt. Add Tequila. *

Now, you have a Frozen Strawberry Margarita. BIG difference!

Blend in a potent proprietary algorithm and, you’ve got the Elixer for “Bulletproof!”

- merlincryption posted this