Secure Hash Algorithm 256 or SHA 256 is defined as one of the most secure ways to protect digital information. SHA 256 is a math process that generates a 256 bit (64 character long) random sequence of letters and numbers (hash) out of any input.
A hash is as a mathematical computer process that takes information and turns it into letters and numbers of a certain length. Hashing is used to make storing and finding information quicker because hashes are usually shorter and easier to find. Hashes also make information unreadable and so the original data can become confidential.
For example, “I like bitcoin” can be hashed and will equal: ad3e58f21b94f32dcadca6b71df4c31a18179f38011551a17a80d0ff065d22c5
If I were to capitalize the “b” in bitcoin, so it says, “I like Bitcoin” the hash will be completely different: d988ca30eaa88c0410ad6e48a5297c0d505dcee572f9884f1a6fa2cbc8dedc86
The number of possible combinations of letters and numbers produced by SHA 256 exceeds the number grains of sand on Earth! That makes guessing the data hidden within the hash virtually impossible. Hashes cannot be reversed, so the process is typically used for computer security.