Encryption is the process of converting plaintext data into a coded form of data that can only be unlocked by someone who has the appropriate key. The purpose of encryption is to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access and to ensure that data is transmitted securely across networks or stored safely on devices. Encryption algorithms use mathematical formulas to scramble the data, and the key is used to unscramble the data when needed.

Encryption is used in various applications, including digital communications, file storage, and secure online transactions. It is also used to protect sensitive data in transit, such as financial information and data stored on smartphones. Encryption is an essential tool for protecting privacy and data security and is a critical component of many security and privacy protocols. However, encryption can also be a source of complexity, and it is vital to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different encryption algorithms and to use encryption appropriately to protect sensitive information.