Describe the differences between encoding, encrypting, and hashing.
Topic 8 Discussion 2: Encoding, Encrypting and Hashing
Differences between encoding, encrypting, and hashing.
Encoding is a process or approach mainly used to transfer data from one form to another. The primary aim of encoding is to ensure data transfer into a form easily readable by any user. This approach effectively secures different data with the help of some advanced algorithms available in it and ensures the integrity and usability of data (packetlabs.net, 2022). The best function or application of using the encoding feature is to reduce the actual size of any files that can be audio or video. The audio or video file usually consists of some format that can consist of a codec program that is effective for coding into another readable format. Examples of encoding include UNICODE, ASCII, BASE64, and many others. No such key is used in this approach, and the same algorithm is used for both encoding and decoding data by the user. For example, in the initial years of email, the data of it was in text format. So it is converted into binary form to transmit it over the internet in system readable format. But now, users need to send attachments and text in the email, so the BASE64 encoding technique is used for this purpose.
Encryption is integral to data security, and the internet would have been an insecure place without its involvement. Encryption helps make the data unreadable to any unauthorized user, and attackers find it difficult to decode. Unlike encoding, encryption makes use of cryptographic keys for encoding data, and both sender and receiver have the same or different keys to encrypt and decrypt files. This approach is preferable primarily for sending private information over the internet, including a combination of both username and password for login purposes (geeksforgeeks.org, 2022). The secret key, known as Cipher, is used in this approach, and encrypted data is called cipher text. There are usually two categories of encryption, and that includes symmetric and asymmetric encryption. It safeguards the security of billions of people all over the world and ensures information is confidential (internetsociety.org, 2023).
The data is converted to hash in this approach, and it includes the use of some advanced hashing function. The hashing function can include any number generated from a string or text. The data or file or arbitrary size can be mapped using this approach and converted into a file of fixed size. There are many hashing algorithms like MD5 that can be used for the verification of images over the internet. Another important function of using the hashing function includes verifying passwords for login on different websites.
Thus, three of these approaches are not similar, and some of their function are only similar. The encryption uses some keys that are not utilized for the encoding process. These approaches are necessary for the secure transmission of data over the internet and also to ensure proper verification of data.
geeksforgeeks.org, (2022), Encryption vs Encoding Vs Hashing, Retrieved from: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/encryption-encoding-hashing/ [Retrieved on: 10-01-2023]
internetsociety.org, (2023), Why Encryption Matters, Retrieved from: https://www.internetsociety.org/issues/encryption/what-is/ [Retrieved on: 10-01-2023]
packetlabs.net, (2022), Encryption, Encoding, and Hashing: Explained, Retrieved from: https://www.packetlabs.net/posts/encryption-encoding-and-hashing/#:~:text=While%20encryption%20does%20involve%20encoding,symmetric%20key%20and%20public%20key. [Retrieved on: 10-01-2023]