The glossary below contains many of the terms you will find in common use throughout the Symantec Security Response website. Please refer to this list to find definitions of terms and answers to other Internet security-related questions.

private key

A part of asymmetric encryption that uses a private key in conjunction with a public key. The private key is kept secret, while the public key is sent to those with whom a user expects to communicate. The private key is then used to encrypt the data, and the corresponding public key is used to decrypt it. The risk in this system is that if either party loses the key or the key is stolen, the system is broken.