Hide Sensitive Messages In Plain Sight With A Caesar Cipher

In general, you want to avoid writing down sensitive information and just keeping it in your head, but that's not always an option. If you have to write down a password, or some other sensitive information, you can use a Caesar Cipher to quickly encode and decode that message on your own.

Caesar Ciphers are very simple methods of encryption, because they work by shifting the alphabet over a few characters and matching up the letters (see the picture above) — in fact, if you've ever used any cypher as a kid, it was probably a Caesar Cipher. This cipher turns a statement like "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" into this:

WKH TXLFN EURZQ IRA MXPSV RYHU WKH ODCB GRJ

The first letter is a W because it's three letters after T. K is three letters after H. H is three letters after E. Basically, you can easily decrypt that message by just rewinding the alphabet by three letters. It's easy to decrypt if you take some time to figure it out, but it's plenty to keep non-motivated people from spying on your stuff.

This is just one useful personal encryption method of many. For more, read this guide.

Caesar Cipher [Wikipedia via Reddit]


Comments

    A message like this may draw attention to itself when sighted by others. Once it does it is no effort at all to type it into a computer program which prints all 25 possible outcomes to the screen (or could run each of these through a spellcheck to guess which is the message for you).
    Once this happens, any peeping Tom will be quite pleased to let you continue writing messages you think are secret.

    Also, it will take you more time to decrypt using your pen and paper than it takes an attacker to enter this into his computer. So why not type your messages into files on your computer and encrypt them with serious cryptosystems such as PGP? It's far faster to encrypt/decrypt than in your head and you end up with a cipher text that is far harder for any attackers to break.

    If I see stuff lying around a colleague's desk written in plain english - ignore.

    If I see stuff lying around a colleague's desk written like this article - CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

    Its easy to decript since you can find the most used letter and see how many places it has shifted from e

      a naughty thought: why not jot down your cryptogram and avoid including E. (1)

      That was tough- I was trying to not use the letter E to say:
      If I was writing in code, I would avoid the use of E for this reason.

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