The conversion of computer data into unique codes which can only be decoded by a receiving party possessing the proper decryption algorithm. Encryption is used for security purposes, especially for the transmission of sensitive or private material (such as credit card numbers) over the Internet. Encryption can be either "asymmetric" (the encryption key needs to be known by both sender and receiver) or symmetric (half of a bit sequence is used to encrypt datya but the other half is needed to decrypt the data). So far it is unknown just how effective encryption is. The decoding of encrypted data is known as decryption. See also Data Encryption Standard.
'Encryption also refers to encoding special hints into the digital descriptions of Adobe PostScript fonts (only Type 1 PostScript fonts, however). These encrypted hints are used to improve the quality of the type when it is output, and is especially useful when small point sizes are output.