Cryptography is the practice and study of mathematically manipulating data so that it can be stored and transmitted securely. The act of manipulating this data is called encryption, and the manipulated data is called encrypted. Encrypted data must undergo a reverse process, called decryption, before its original form is revealed. If the encryption method is mathematically sound, the encrypted data may not be decrypted in a reasonable amount of time by anyone who does not have a secret token, called an encryption key. For more information about this process, including practical examples, see our encrypt definition.