Principles of encryption
One can only send one’s communication partners encrypted messages and files when one is in possession of their public key.
For encryption, the sender uses the public key of his/her communication partner to encode the plain text.
Only the intended recipient can decrypt the encoded text again with his/her respective private key, inputting a mantra (password phrase) known only to him/her.
Please have a look at the following graphic.
- Anton writes Berta a message.
- He encrypts the contents with Berta’s public key.
- Berta receives the encrypted message.
- When Berta wishes to open the message, her email program wants to know her password/her PIN.
- If Berta enters this correctly, she can read the contents in plain text.