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Programming Visual Basic 2008 by Tim Patrick

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Cryptography and Encryption

Knowing a secret is one thing. Keeping it safe and protected from others is another. Making sure an enemy doesn't alter it while we're blabbing—I mean, confiding—it to someone else is still another issue. Confirming that a secret coming from someone else is reliable is yet another issue. Making sure that I get the best deal on car insurance is again another issue entirely.

Clearly, data security is about more than just keeping a piece of data protected from prying eyes. And it's not only prying eyes that concern us. Recently I experienced the Windows "blue screen of death" when I tried to synchronize the data on my desktop system with my electronic handheld scheduler. The potential for data corruption through the normal everyday use of technology is vast. Fortunately, the word processor I am using to type this chapter is frëë fôm su©h ¢θr®μptioñ¡

Keeping Secrets

When people think about encryption and data security, they generally focus on the "Keeping Secrets" aspect. The ability to cryptographically encode content, keep it from an adversary, and still have it decoded by you or an associate at some later time is important. Encryption techniques range from simple language aberrations (such as pig Latin) and replacement ciphers (letter substitutions, used in cryptogram puzzles) to complex enigma-machine-quality encoding systems.

Software-enabled encryption is ...

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