Learn Cryptography for Free

Cryptography is one of the most important cybersecurity tools for securing communications. If you're looking to learn cryptography basics, this is the perfect place to start.

Why learn cryptography with Flatiron School?

Learn cryptography for free

Our cryptography lessons are free — that way you can learn the fundamentals on your schedule and at your own pace.

Explore your future in cybersecurity

Our cryptography lessons are a great way to determine if learning cybersecurity is right for you. Discover whether you're passionate about pursuing a cyber career, or if you just want to learn a new skill.

Prepare for a cybersecurity bootcamp

This is the quickest way to get hands-on experience with the fundamentals you'll need to get into our immersive Cybersecurity Engineering course.

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What you'll learn: Cryptography basics and how they're applied to today's cybersecurity efforts

Our free Introduction to Cryptography for beginners teaches you the basics behind cryptography, cryptology, cryptanalysis, cryptocurrency, and encryption to give you a broad views of how they work together to protect critical information every day.


Learn how HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure compares with regular HTTP and its importance.


Understand how cryptocurrency works and how it could impact the future of cryptography.


Learn the basics behind encryption and how it's critical to protecting our data.

Cryptographic Keys

Learn how cryptographic keys — passwords — work and the difference between symmetric and assymetric encryption.

Cipher-Block Chaining

In addition to the Caesar Cipher is cipher-block chaining. Learn how it works in relation to cryptocurrency.

Playfair Cipher

Practice with the simple symmetric substitution called Playfair Cipher, including how to encrypt and decrypt a message using the Playfair Cipher.

Other free cybersecurity tutorials at Flatiron School

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tech industry. But there’s a skills gap – employer demand is rapidly outpacing the supply of highly trained cybersecurity specialists. If you're ready to join the mission to prevent global cybercrime, Flatiron School's Cybersecurity Engineering teaches you everything you need to know to become a cybersecurity professional.

You can also try our other free lessons below to better understand the subjects covered.

Understanding IoT Security

Learn about the Internet of Things and how WiFi-enabled devices can leave you vulnerable.

Learn IoT Security

How to Prevent Phishing

If you use email, you've experienced phishing. Learn about its many forms and how to protect yourself.

Learn How to Prevent Phishing

Introduction to Virtualization

Learn about virtualization technology and how it enhances information security.

Learn Virtualization

Ready for a career in cybersecurity? Learn more about our immersive cybersecurity course. (1)
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Frequently asked questions about learning cryptography and Flatiron School

What is cryptography?

Cryptography is the practice of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties called adversaries. More generally, cryptography is about constructing and analyzing protocols that prevent third parties or the public from reading private messages.

Two other forms of crypto are cryptology and cryptanalysis: Cryptology is the study of writing codes and ciphers, and cryptanalysis is the process of deciphering a code without the key.

Why use cryptography?

We use cryptography to ensure the privacy of information we send and access to those who require and are authorized to have access.

What are the different types of cryptography?

Methods of encryption will depend on the medium through which you are going to transmit the data. When encrypting data for transmission over a computer network, there are two general types of cryptography: symmetric and asymmetric. Asymmetric cryptography is more secure than symmetric and is more frequently used.

Where is cryptography used today?

Cryptography is frequently used when sending information to other people or organizations through online devices. For example, cryptography is used when securing your credit card information during an online purchase. Cryptography can also be used when sending messages by hand, as well.

Is cryptography a good career?

While any cybersecurity career will include some exposure to cryptography, some positions will deal with it more directly than others. The more technology advances, the more it will need to be secured, and cryptography will be an important part of a cybersecurity career. Thorough knowledge of cryptography can improve job security and stability.

If you're considering a career in cryptography, read more about how to get into cybersecurity.

Is cryptography math?

Most cryptography is done automatically by computers these days, however, there are still a few industries or areas of cyber that will deal in manual cryptography. In our program, we focus more on understanding the types of math that are done, as opposed to making you do the math.

What is public-key cryptography?

In asymmetric encryption (also called public-key encryption), there are two keys: a private key and a public key. One key is used for encryption, and the other is used for decryption. The decryption key is kept private ("private key"), while the encryption key is shared publicly for anyone to use ("public key").

Who should learn about cryptography?

An understanding of how computers communicate securely with each other is an important topic for everyone to know. The creation of secure networks and the use of reliable encryption methods is going to be more relevant to cybersecurity engineers, but analysts may well find themselves concerned with decryption activities.

Do you need to learn cryptography for cybersecurity?

Cryptography is a big part of cybersecurity — think encryption and information authentication — but cybersecurity engineers only need to be famliar with cryptography basics as opposed to its intricacies. The standard practice for a cybersecurity engineer or developer is to use pre-built cryptography libraries.

The fundamentals — parts of which are covered in this cryptography tutorial — are absolutely necessary for anyone in cybersecurity, though.

Learn more about other skills you need to get into cybersecurity.

What courses and workshops does Flatiron School offer?

Flatiron School teaches students the skills they need to become a software engineer, data scientist, cybersecurity engineer or analyst, or product designer.

If you're looking to start a new career, those are the courses for you.

We also offer free introductory experiences for beginners in coding, data science, and cybersecurity.

Free tutorials:


Data Science


Is the Intro to Cryptography workshop really free?

Yes, Introduction to Cryptography is entirely free, just like the rest of our lessons and tutorials.

If you're interested in learning cryptography online for free, this tutorial and labs are a great place to start your education.