Sunday, April 20, 2008

Further Encoding Codes

There are plenty of other ridiculously easy ciphers to use. Unfortunately, they are also easy to crack, so here are some ways to make sure your message can only be understood by you and the person it is being sent to:

If you are using a cipher in which you replace letters with other letters or symbols, don’t use spaces or &T**U OECI&PTU can be translated into HAPPY BIRTHDAY with a bit of time and thought. You know that one is a five-letter word that way, and the other is a eight-letter word. You can also tell that the last letter is the same for both. So use a symbol or letter (and not a dash or underscore) for a space instead. If you like you could even add extra spaces to throw someone off the trail.

An easy trick is to use a different word for some words and agree on them with whoever will be using your code. For instance, to say MEET ME ON FRIDAY you could say MEET ME AT A RESTAURANT and your friend would know to meet you on Friday (if you were meeting at a restaurant, you’d most likely tell which one, right?)
You can also use floriography. If you wanted to reply to an invitation discreetly, you might write STRIPED CARNATION, which means ‘no’.
While you’re looking, you might want to see what a green rose means.