What is symmetric encryption?
As opposed to asymmetric encryption, symmetric encryption requires the same key to encrypt and decrypt a message. Therefore both keys must be private in order to keep the message secure, unlike asymmetric encryption in which the key for encryption can be public.
How does symmetric encryption work?
The key must be exchanged between both parties. Symmetric encryption requires less computational power than asymmetric encryption but isn’t always as practical. For that reason, asymmetric encryption is often used to verify both parties, and symmetric encryption is used for actual communication and transfer of data.
Symmetric encryption can either encrypt the digits of a message one at a time as they are sent (stream ciphers), or encrypt the digits in blocks and send them as a single unit (block ciphers)