The term “hash function” originates from the English verb to hash and means “to chop up”. Hash functions reduce characters of any length (e.g. a password with five letters or a password with 7 letters) to characters with a fixed length (e.g. always three numbers. This reduces them to a small, compact form. If it is ensured that different original contents – i.e. two different passwords – do not lead to the same hash value [please link to this term], then this is also called a cryptographic hash function. If the same hash value is generated, it is called a collision. Hash functions are used to generate the electronic counterpart of a unique fingerprint.