What is the difference between a public and private key?

A public key and a private key are both types of cryptography keys used in cryptography and digital signature algorithms. A public key is a cryptographic key that is used to encrypt data and verify digital signatures, while a private key is a cryptographic key that is used to decrypt data and create digital signatures.

Public keys are generally available to the public and can be used by anyone who needs to send encrypted data. Because of this, public keys are more vulnerable to attack, as anyone can attempt to break the encryption.

Private keys, on the other hand, are only available to the owner of the key and are used to decrypt data that was encrypted using the corresponding public key. Private keys are kept secret and should never be shared with anyone, as this would compromise the security of the system. Furthermore, private keys are used to create digital signatures, which are used to prove the authenticity of digital documents.