- An encryption method which uses two keys for successful encryption and decryption of messages. The first key is used to encrypt and is public, as most anyone can look it up. To decrypt, the second key is necessary. This key is private, as only the recipient knows it. Since it is not necessary to send the decryption key in any message, this method eliminates the vulnerability inherent in its being sent to the recipient. Also called public key cryptography, or asymmetric encryption.
- synonym public-key cryptography
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