PGP Key pairs
Your PGP key pair consists of two parts: the
private key and the
It's vital that you never lose ultimate control of your
private key. This means you need to take every (sometimes excessive) precaution to ensure your
private key is not stolen, copied, or transmitted. If this happens, you need to revoke your
private key and generate a new one as soon as possible.
private key is your
public key plus the
secret information that you need to make the hard problem of decryption, into an easy problem.
public key is best thought of as a schematic for a lock. It describes precisely how to build the lock. This is a special lock, due to it's complexity knowing how to build it, and use the lock function, doesn't mean you know how to unlock it.
It is possible to unlock the lock through a process called factorization. But with traditional computers and when you're using large key sizes, it's technically not feasible.
If you find this fascinating you need to watch the Khan Academy course on Cryptography.