Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Hashing is generating a value or values from a string of text using a mathematical function.
Hashing is one way to enable security during the process of message transmission when the message is intended for a particular recipient only. A formula generates the hash, which helps to protect the security of the transmission against tampering.
Hashing is also a method of sorting key values in a database table in an efficient manner.
When a user sends a secure message, a hash of the intended message is generated and encrypted, and is sent along with the message. When the message is received, the receiver decrypts the hash as well as the message. Then, the receiver creates another hash from the message. If the two hashes are identical when compared, then a secure transmission has occurred. This hashing process ensures that the message is not altered by an unauthorized end user.
Hashing is used to index and retrieve items in a database because it is easier to find the item using the shortened hashed key than using the original value.