## private key

private keynoun

- One of two keys used in public key cryptography and held privately by the recipient of encrypted data, typically used to sign digital signatures and to decrypt data that was encoded using the recipient's public key.
- A key that is used both to encrypt and decrypt data in private key cryptography. Also called In this sense, also called
*secret key*.

## private-key

## private key - Computer Definition

The unpublished key in a public key cryptographic system, which uses a two-part key: one private and one public. The private key is kept secret and never transmitted over a network. Contrast with "public key," which can be published on a website or sent in an ordinary e-mail message. See public key cryptography.