Is there a term that can mean Encryption, Encoding and Hashing at the same time? Security? But Encoding is not about security. Cryptography?

  • What do you mean by "encoding"? (Data/image/audio/video compression? Channel coding? Character encoding like Unicode? Cryptographic encoding to deliberately prevent people reading a message?) If by hashing you mean cryptographic hashing, then it's part of cryptography, but there are other uses of hashing (e.g. hash tables). I'd guess cryptography is what you mean but it's not certain.
    – Stuart F
    Jul 14 at 16:28
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    How about "garbling"?
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 14 at 16:35
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    It would be helpful to know your definitions of the three words you are using.
    – Anton
    Jul 14 at 16:43
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    Some context would help, for sure. Absent any, "obfuscation" comes to mind, but that might not be the intent of these activities.
    – Gerald
    Jul 14 at 17:27
  • How do you call them? I guess you mean "What do you call them?"
    – Lambie
    Jul 14 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Encryption is the process of concealing information by changing it, often this is done by substituting the bytes with other bytes using either a secret algorithm or by applying an encryption page using a more open algorithm. Its intention is to render the information unreadable.

Encoding is the process of representing non computer-readable information in a format a computer can understand (for instance converting ordinary text into ASCII strings). The intention is to make the information available to others, not to conceal it.

Hashing is usually a way of reducing the size of a piece of information, again the intention is not to conceal the information.

This means that the three words mean three completely different things. The only thing they have in common is the fact that the information is changed in some way from the original. I suppose they could be considered to be information or data manipulation but there are other actions which can be similarly defined. Given the diverse definitions I don't believe that there can be an umbrella term for them.

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