This encryption method requires two unique software keys to for decrypting data, one public and one private. Data is encrypted using the published public keys and the unpublished private keys are used to decrypt the data. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is a well-known example of this kind of encryption system. This system provides secure data across a public network.
An asymmetric scheme that uses a pair of keys for encryption: The public key encrypts data, and a corresponding secret key decrypts it. For digital signatures, the process is reversed: The sender uses the secret key to create a unique electronic number that can be read by anyone possessing the corresponding public key, which verifies that the message is truly from the sender. See also RSA; session key.
one of the strongest encryption methods available, it's a system that uses two keys - a public key known to everyone and a private or secret key known only to the recipient of the message. An important element to the public key system is that only the public key can encrypt messages and only the corresponding private key can decrypt them. Public-key systems, such as PGP, are becoming popular for transmitting information via the Internet because they are extremely secure and relatively simple to use.