Creating your own secret code can come in handy when you want to send messages to friends without letting others know. There are many different techniques. We will describe one here. If you want more techniques, let us know…or if you would like to share your own technique, please do.
Write down each letter of the alphabet in columns or a straight line. Either on the right, left, top, or bottom of each letter, write a substitution letter. Remember to use each letter only once. Here is an example:
Using the code above, you would write – meet me at lunch – as:
Zggh zg ch bkeqa
By writing your code down on a piece of paper as shown above, you have created a key for your secret code, which is also called a cipher. You and one or more of your friends would have their own cipher for your group’s secret code. When you translate your code back to normal words
To be even more secret, you can create your cipher using two pieces of paper rather than one. On one piece of paper you would have the normal alphabet and on the other piece of paper would be your coded alphabet. You would make them so that you could put the two pieces of paper next to each other so that the normal alphabet letters match up with your substitute alphabet. You can hide one of the pieces of paper in one place and the other in a different place to help keep it secret.
A little vocabulary:
Cipher can also be spelled cypher. There are many definitions of the word cipher. As a noun, it can mean many things, including: the method of secret writing, a secret message, the key to a secret message, or any of the Arabic numerals (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). It can also be used as a verb and mean to put a message into secret writing.
When you write a message in your secret code, you are encrypting.
When you translate your secret code into normal words, you are deciphering.