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Why public/private keys is bad terminolgy


It is a slightly small historic know-how element, however I believe it’s a bit unhappy that cryptography coined the “private and non-private key pair” terminology.

I believe it causes confusion for these unfamiliar with this topic. For instance “Why are there two keys?!”, “Why is one public and one non-public?”, “If I wish to SSH to a distant server utilizing a key pair, which one ought to I put there?”…

I believe it might have been way more clear if the general public key would have been referred to as a “lock”, and the non-public key merely the “key”. Every thing would match collectively extra properly. It could be extra intuitive and simpler to know, even for noobs.

I even suppose it might have improved the general safety. As an illustration, I’ve usually seen the fallacious key and even each keys positioned in varied locations as a result of it wasn’t clear for customers which of the 2 keys belongs the place.

The take-away is to please consider the general public key as a lock. You possibly can place it in all places, like on a door, however by no means let your non-public keys lay round. šŸ˜‰

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