Cryptography (or cryptology) is derived from Greek κρυπτός kryptós “hidden,” and the verb γράφω gráfo “write”. In modern times, it has become a branch of information theory, as the mathematical study of information and especially its transmission from place to place.
One of cryptography’s primary purposes is hiding the meaning of messages, not usually the existence of such messages. In modern times, cryptography also contributes to computer science.
Cryptography is central to the techniques used in computer and network security for such things as access control and information confidentiality. Cryptography is also used in many applications encountered in everyday life; the security of ATM cards, computer passwords, and electronic commerce all depend on cryptography.