Data Encryption, which is used to protect sensitive data (such as credit card numbers) that is transmitted via some type of communications network. Encryption can be used to provide additional protection for sensitive portions of a database as well.
The data is encoded using some coding algorithm. An unauthorized user who accesses encoded data will have difficulty deciphering it, but authorized users are given decoding or decrypting algorithms (or keys) to decipher the data. Encrypting techniques that are very difficult to decode without a key have been developed for military applications.