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Private-Key Cryptography

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Secret-key encryption uses one key, the secret key, that is used to both encrypt and decrypt messages. This is also called symmetric encryption. The term "private key" is often used inappropriately to refer to the secret key. Refer to "Secret-Key Cryptography."

With public-key encryption, a user has two keys, one that is made public and one that is held privately. This is asymmetric encryption. Refer to "Public-Key Cryptography."

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