In his idea that Mary Queen of Scots would have been better off without her relatively weak cipher,  Singh acknowledges the crucial relationship between the strength of a cipher and the level of accountable knowledge that encrypted messages contain.

Mary Queen of Scots and Babington where often trading highly sensitive messages that outlined the plot to kill Queen Elizabeth. These messages where only secured by an encryption key that substituted symbols for each letter of the alphabet and replaced  common words such as “the” by a singular symbol. Mary and her correspondence communicated with a strong faith in their cipher and did not fathom the possibility that the cipher could be broken. The encrypted letters contained a heavy amount of explicit incriminating evidence and if the cipher were to be cracked, there would be no questions to what Mary Queen of Scots intentions were. In fact it would have been much safer for Queen Mary to use code words or a more stealthy approach to communicating with Babington. This system would make it harder for interceptors to gain valuable information altogether and Mary’s death could have been avoided.

For those who wish to keep their communications secret, this serves as a lesson to think more critically about the security of their encrypted messages and what it would cost if their message was exposed. If one wanted to send a tremendously sensitive message, it would be more secure to use a stronger encryption key. If a weaker encryption key was used, the message would be most likely decrypted and the sensitive information would be compromised. A good decision would be to use code words or strategic wording so that if the message is intercepted and decrypted, the original intentions of the message would be ambiguous and still a secret. The more sensitive the content that is being encrypted, the stronger the encryption key should be. Additionally, having a stealthier transfer system or more complex code word system could tighten the security of the content being sent.

The best question to ask when debating where or not to strengthen the current encryption system is: Is the message secure even if it is decrypted and what are the consequences of it being decoded?