A.1 Overview

The content of most Internet communications, such as Web page browsing or public chat forums, can be monitored by anyone equipped to do so. The content of other data transmissions, such as the exchange of credit card information for online purchases, needs to be kept private.

Public key cryptography is a widely used method for keeping data transmissions private and secure on the Internet. Specifically, public key cryptography is the system of using digital codes called “keys” to authenticate senders of messages and to encrypt message content.