What is Public Key Authentication?
Public key authentication uses a public and a private key when connecting to a server for added security. Public and private key are similar to a puzzle. They are created together to use during the login/authentication process. The public key resides on the server (the remote location) The private key resides locally on your computer/server. When you attempt to login to a server, the public and private key are compared. If they "match", then you will be allowed to login to the server location.
Why does Public Key Authentication benefit me?
Public Key Authentication keeps the server that your site(s) is(are) on more secure. No longer can your password to access the server be guessed or cracked by hackers. Now, to access the server, both your private key, and a password are needed. Even if someone knows your password, they will need to obtain your private key to gain access. Wthout the private key, they cannot access the server.
This also holds true with everyone else on the server. Now, all their accounts are more secure as well. This reduces the risk of server wide problems and will keep your account and the whole server more secure. Continue reading