There are a lot of people that seem to have some confusion about the differences between checksums, encryption, and compression. It’s not just Grandpa and Cousin Doris that are a bit mystified though, it’s often a lot of tech journalists, and the police/judiciary.
At their most basic, the two things might seem alike. They’re ways of describing information that leads to verification of data. Yet apart from this, they’re two very different beasts.
For those wondering why I’ve included compression with encryption, the simple answer is compression is encryption. When data is transformed in any way using a method where it can be transformed back, it’s encryption. Write it backwards and it’s encrypted, write it vertically, and that’s a form of encryption, Write it in Spanish instead of English, and that’s technically encryption too. It might seem simple, but take a phrase, put it in a language you don’t know, and you won’t be able to decrypt it. Continue reading