From CryptoDox, The Online Encyclopedia on Cryptography and Information Security
Also known as Asymmetric key Cryptography.
This is a form of cryptography that allows secure communication without having any prior knowledge or access to the secret key. This is achieved by using a pair of mathematically related cryptographic keys which are known as private and public keys.
The sender uses the recipients public key to secure the data. Upon receiving the data, the recipient decrypts it uses the private key. The private key as the name suggests must not be shared with anyone. The public key on the other hand, as the name suggests, should be available freely to everyone to ensure that they can communicate securely with the recipient.
Examples of protocols using asymmetric key algorithms include: