What Is The Meaning Of Encryption And Decryption? Easy And Complete Guide 2021

What is the meaning of Encryption

Do you ever explore the answer to “what is the meaning of encryption and decryption?” Perhaps, these are the terms used by the majority of us in computer language. But a lot of us do not bother to explore their real meaning.

Suppose you want to answer a different question like “What are the types of Encryption,” how to encrypt a file, Examples of Encryption, how to decrypt a file, and a lot more. So, stay with me and let me help you to provide you with a complete understanding.

In this guide, you are going to learn.

  • What is Cryptography?
  • What is the meaning of Encryption?
  • What is the meaning of Decryption?
  • Difference between Encryption and Decryption?
  • What are the types of Encryption?
  • The public key and Private key
  • How to encrypt a file?
  • Examples of Encryption.
  • How to decrypt a file?

Before moving towards Encryption and Decryption, we have to understand Cryptography.

What is Cryptography

If you are doing secure communication and protecting data from an unauthorized person, you are doing cryptography. It is a process in which plain text (human-readable) message is gone through a series of mathematical operations.

Through this, the plain text is changed into the ciphertext (human unreadable) message. The process for changing plain text into ciphertext is Encryption. While another side, changing ciphertext into plain text messages is known to be Decryption. 

What is the meaning of Encryption

From here, you will move towards getting enough knowledge about Encryption and Decryption. But before going towards definitions of Encryption and Decryption, here is a little scenario for a better understanding.

“An army officer wants to send a secret message to its soldiers. The army officer sends a coded message (ciphertext), and the soldiers decode the message (plain text) accordingly. No doubt that is through the process of Encryption and Decryption.”

So, the Encryption and Decryption process is demonstrated below.


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What is the meaning of Encryption?

Encryption is a process by which plain text (human-readable) messages are converted to coded ciphertext.

So, from the above scenario, we can quickly know, “What is the meaning of Encryption .” When the plain text like “Hello” is coded/encrypted, that will become ciphertext like “56+45=KL”.

On the above demonstration, we can say it is converting a standard message (plain text) into a meaningless statement ( ciphertext) is known to be Encryption.

What is the meaning of Decryption?

Decryption is a process by which coded ciphertext (human-unreadable) messages are converted to plain text (human-readable).

Here again, the above scenario is the best way to answer the question like, “what is the meaning of decryption?” When the ciphertext like “56+45=KL” is decoded/decrypted, that will become plain text like, “Hello.”

We can say that converting a meaningless message (ciphertext) into its original form (plain text) is called Decryption.

Furthermore, it is vital to know how we can distinguish Encryption from Decryption.

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What are the main differences between Encryption and Decryption?

Once the idea is clear about what is the meaning of Encryption and Decryption? Here we go for the best comparison between these as follows.

S No.VariableEncryptionDecryption
1BasicThe conversion process of readable data into an unreadable form achieves data security.The conversion process of unreadable coded data into readable form to understand the message.
2By whomThe sender encodes the data.The receiver decodes the data.
3Major taskConvert plain text into ciphertext.Convert ciphertext into plain text.
4KeyIt can be done by using either a secret key or a public key.That can be done by a secret key or a private key.
5ExampleThe officer is sending a secrete message to his soldiers.The soldiers received the information.

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What are the types of Encryption?

Let’s find out the answer to the question “What are the types of encryption?”. There are two types of Encryption, which are based on keys used in Encryption and Decryption, are symmetric and asymmetric encryption,

here you can also find the major difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption.

What is Symmetric Encryption

As the name implies, Symmetric Encryption is a process in which some key is used in both Encryption and Decryption processes. Thus, the private key is shared by the sender with the receiver to access information or data.


 What is Asymmetric Encryption

An asymmetric Encryption is a process in which two keys are used.

  • The one is the Public key.

This key is required while the sender encrypts the data.

  • The other is the Private key.

This key is required while the receiver decrypts the data.

As the name suggests, the Private key is to be kept secret and not to be provided to everyone, while the Public key is available to everyone.


Now it is necessary to know about the private key and public key because based on these keys, the types of Encryption can be understood. and we can also understand the difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption here we go with basic definitions.

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Private key

When Encryption and Decryption’s same secrete key is used, that will be its Private key. It is the only key shared by the sender with the receiver to decrypt the ciphertext into the plain text.

Public key

When in the process of Encryption and Decryption, there are two different keys are used. Here sender encrypts the data with a Public key (open to anyone); further, the data is decrypted with the help of a Private key by the receiver.

Example of Private and Public key

Suppose a company manager wants to send an encrypted email to his subordinate. To do this, the manager takes his subordinate public key and encrypts his message.

Then, when the associate receives the message in the email. He then, through his known private, decrypt the message of his manager. Here the secure communication got completed successfully.

In this case, the attackers from outside cannot read the message because they do not have a private key to decrypt the message. Only the private key holder subordinate can get access to his manager’s message.

If an associate wants to reply to his manager, he has to repeat the process through the Encryption of message to his manager through his manager’s public key.

How to Encrypt a file

Before moving further, it is vital to know how to encrypt a file? There are many different ways you can do it through windows built-in features or some specialized software.

Here are some simple steps:

  • First, Right-click on the desired file and go to its Properties.
  • Secondly, click on the Advanced button, where you will click on the Encrypt contents.
  • Finally, click OK for closing the window of Advanced Attributes, then click Apply and OK.

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Examples of Encryption

There can be a lot of different examples of Encryption. Here we will put measures for symmetric and asymmetric Encryption separately for better understanding.

Symmetric Encryption Example

Suppose we want to encrypt a simple plain text message “Hello” into the ciphertext like “56+45” in symmetric Encryption. We encrypt the text with the help of a key; suppose the key is “Pr_K1”.

Encryption with the use of particular key “Pr_K1” consider our “Hello” will become “56+45=KL”, which is now in an unreadable form. However, by decrypting it with that same key, “Pr_K1”, we get “Hello” back.


Asymmetric Encryption Example

Suppose the manager wants to send the encrypted message to some particular subordinate through Asymmetric Encryption in an organization. He will follow the following procedure.

There is a public key that is in use by different users. If the manager wants to send a confidential message to his particular subordinate, then-manager has to encrypt the message data with his public key.

Once the message is received, then come Decryption of the message where the specific associate will decrypt the message using his private key.

How to decrypt a file

Let me tell you How to Decrypt a File in few simple steps as follow.

  1. Click on the Window icon or Press your keyboard button of Windows and go to the file location you want to decrypt.
  2. Right-click on the file and now select “Properties.”
  3. Then click on the Advanced option on the General tab below the Attributes section.
  4. You will find a box next to “Encrypt Contents to Secure Data,” uncheck it, press enter, or click “OK.”

File decryption is now complete.

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SD Card Encryption

SD card encryption meaning

As we know encryption is a process of converting readable text into ciphertext (unreadable) text, so SD card encryption meaning is to convert SD card data into an unreadable form, which creates an extra layer of security for the data and secures it with a key(password)

If you want to read the data of an encrypted SD card then you will need a key(password) to decrypt the data of the SD card, only then you can access or read the data/file.

Encrypted SD Card Meaning

Encrypted SD card means that SD card is encrypted(secured with encryption) and you can’t access the data of that SD card without the key(password), only the person who has the key to decrypt that SD card can access its data.

How To Encrypt SD Card

Nowadays most smartphone companies are providing this feature to encrypt or decrypt device or SD card and this is so simple process, if your smartphone has this feature then you can easily encrypt your SD card,

Follow these steps to encrypt SD card or device=>

  • Go to settings
SD card encryption meaning
  • Go to lock screen and security setting(some smartphone user can find encryption option in privacy and safety settings)
SD card encryption meaning
  • Scroll down and you will find the option to encrypt device and Encrypt SD Card
SD card encryption meaning
  • Click on encrypt SD card
SD card encryption meaning
  • Again click on encrypt SD card
  • Then it will ask to enter an encryption password(key), that you will need to decrypt or access the data of SD card, enter your password and it will start the SD card encryption process,

It can take 30 minutes to 1 hour according to the size of files, your phone must have sufficient battery to complete the encryption process, after the encryption process, you will need to enter the key to access the files and data of the SD card.

How To Decrypt SD Card

Decryption process of SD card is similar to encryption process follow these steps =>

  • Go to settings
  • Go to lock screen and security setting(some smartphone user can find encryption option in privacy and safety settings)
  • Scroll down and you will find the option to decrypt the SD card
  • Click on the decrypt SD card
  • Again click on the decrypt SD card
  • Enter the password that you have created at the time of encryption your SD card will be decrypted

If you have some important data and files that you want to secure only then we will suggest you encrypt your SD card, as if you insert an encrypted SD card in any other device then it won’t show any data without decrypting it.


After reading the complete guide now, I can feel you are in a better position to answer a question like “What is the meaning of encryption and decryption?”.  As it is now clear that Encryption is when original information is encrypted/coded into an unreadable form. While Decryption, this unreadable text is decrypted/decoded again in the readable format.

This guide has also given enough possible information about the meaning of Encryption, Cryptography, the purpose of Decryption, the types of Encryption, and how to encrypt a file, examples of Encryption, and how to decrypt a file. At last, if we summarize all the above discussion, we can say that “We can protect our data through Encryption and can access the protected data through Decryption.”

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