It is nothing more than a harmless mathematical algorithm that converts your information into unintelligible rubbish to the extent that that it is pretty much impossible to retrieve and read it without the Public key.
Blowfish, AES RC4, RC5, and RC6 are examples of encryption algorithms.
By giving someone the Public key they can achieve two things;
1. they can validate that the information can only have come from you.
2. They can decrypt and read it.
To begin sending encrypted messages you need to generate or acquire a key pair. I.E A public key and a Private key. Windows 10 can do this for you and there are free tools to download.
You securely give the Public key to your corresponedent and keep the Private key for yourself.
Messages can only be sent by the holder of the Private key so nobody holding the public key could impersonate you.
Only the person to whom you gave a Public key can authenticate the message or open it and read it.
The “Explained series” is planned to build into a trustworthy collection of explanations and commentaries that can be trusted to tell the story straight without any bias and attempt to make the subjects accessible to the layman. The latter is not always easy as some of these terms refer to genuinely complex subject matter, while others are simply too vague to pin down (there’s another word for that).
If you want an answer on something and you can’t find it easily, please use the comments section to just ask and I will appreciate not having to research the next topic.