The History Of Encryption Explained With An Infographic

Encryption is not a new concept, not by a long shot. As a matter of fact, data encryption has been around for thousands of years.

So what exactly is encryption?

Data has always been valuable. In ancient times, countries trying to keep secrets from their enemies used encrypted codes to stay under the radar.

Encryption is simply converting information into a code which cannot be read by just anyone. Passwords are a form of encryption. That is why it’s important to be smart when choosing one to protect your personal data.

This cool infographic shows the timeline of how encrypting data came to be.

As you can see it all started with the Spartans in 500 BC and the Transposition Cipher. In this system they rearranged the position of letters within a text with the use of the Skytale. The Caesar Cipher shifted letters by a fixed number in the alphabet in 50 B.C.

Encryption’s history moves forward to the 1790s with the Jefferson Wheel, yes that would be the United States President. The wheel, created by Jefferson, is a polyalphabetic cipher which uses 26 cylinders with alphabets on a spindle.

In 1977 Data Encryption Standard 56 (DES 56) made its debut, followed by what we use now, AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which is the new standard and is based on bits, a unit of information usually represented by a zero or a one.The bits in passwords are what help to keep your data secure.

Through the years, this process has become more sophisticated, and it has all been brought to the forefront after the Edward Snowden case, which exposed government snooping into our computers. Encryption is a very serious matter since it helps keep your data secure, unless the NSA is looking.

A History of Encryption by AOL Computer Checkup

[Infographic via AOL]