What is encryption?
Encryption is the process by which data is converted into another form which is unreadable without a separate key to decrypt it. See also public key, private key.
How does encryption work?
Encryption is a cryptographic way to hide the contents of files and network traffic using a cipher. Different types of encryption are called algorithms, each of varying strength and complexity against brute force attacks (guessing until you get the right key).
Encryption is the most common way to make files and communications on devices and the internet private. Individual files, internet traffic, and entire devices can be encrypted using widely available, open-source algorithms.