Shift Rules & Encryption
We might have gone over the “shift” rules too quickly – let’s take a closer look to ensure we understand them.
A shift rule means changing one character into another character.
So – if we say “change the letter ‘i’ into the letter ‘*’“, that’s a shift rule.
Why do we call this a “shift” rule? It’s because it’s often easiest to be accomplished by “shifting” your finger on the keyboard.
So if you shift your finger up to the number/symbol row from the letter i, you’ll find 8/* as the key. With you pressing the “shift” key, you’ll be typing *.
That’s all there to a shift rule.
If you have enough shift rules in place, you can make your phrase completely unrecognizable. And if you choose your shift rules carefully so that different characters will not be shifted to the same character (i.e, if i shifts to *, then no other characters can be shifted to *), then you have just designed your own encryption method!
If you are mathematically inclined you’ll probably find the exercise of designing your own encryption method quite interesting, for everyone else, knowing the concept of how encryption works is good enough. The above type of encryption is a simple encryption mechanism called Ceasar cipher. You should not rely on this method for true encryption needs, but for the purpose of creating a memorable yet difficult password, it’s good enough.
As this is a primer blog, we won’t delve too deep into encryption except for dealing with how to use encryption tools, which will come in future posts.