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explain like I’m five: Cryptography

Imagine you and your best friend have a secret clubhouse, and you only want members of your club to understand your special messages. To keep the messages secret from everyone else, you come up with a secret code. Maybe “apple” means “hello” and “banana” means “meet me at the clubhouse.” When you send a message saying “apple banana,” only your friend, who knows the secret code, can understand it. Everyone else just sees fruit names and gets confused.

Cryptography is like that secret code. It’s a way to change information into a secret format, so only certain people can understand it. When you want to share a secret on the internet, you can use cryptography to make sure only the person you want can read it, while everyone else just sees gibberish. And when that person wants to read your secret, they use a special key (like the secret code for your clubhouse) to decode the message and understand it.

So, in simple terms, cryptography is a way to send and receive secrets safely.