public key encryption

An encryption method that uses the concept of a key ring. The key ring has two keys: a public key that is made available to everyone and a private (or secret) key that is known only by the private key holder. The public and private keys are designed to work together. Anyone can use the public key to encrypt data, but only the person with the corresponding private key can decrypt the data; this helps to protect the content of messages. Conversely, anyone can use the public key to decrypt data, but only if it was encrypted with the corresponding private key; this helps to ensure the identity of the person sending the data.

See also : private key encryption  PGP  
NetLingo Classification: Net Technology