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Encryption: Encryption is a process which is applied to patient data or other important data, and alters it to make it humanly unreadable except by someone who knows how to decrypt it.

Encryption is a process that transforms information into an unreadable form unless you have a “cipherkey” to decrypt the data. Encryption software takes information and transforms it into unreadable form until it can be decrypted using the encryption key. In today’s world-wide computer networking, many forms of encryption exist to protect financial, personal, business and military data. Encryption was originally developed by the military for protecting national assets.

In the medical informatics, personal patient data must be protected against unauthorized viewing or changing. Encryption should be a vital part of every biomedical and bio-financial system. Encryption will help protect unauthorized use of information should physical security measure in place fail, such as loss of a laptop.

1 Jeff Tyson, How Encryption Works, http://www.howstuffworks.com/encryption.htm

2 Encryption and File Encryption http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid14_gci212062,00.html