Is there a difference between "symmetric algorithms" and "symmetric ciphers" within the context of cryptography? In reading some security exam prep material, the author seems inconsistent when referring to those terms.
Examples of sites using the term "symmetric algorithm":
I thought that "ciphers" were algorithms specifically used for performing encryption or decryption (as per wikipedia).
What is the proper terminology to use when referring to (or grouping) things like DES, 3DES, Blowfish, IDEA, MARS, etc?
Can I use the terms "symmetric algorithms" and "symmetric ciphers" interchangeably?
(Sorry if this question is a bit pedantic -- beyond just studying for the exam, I want to ensure I'm communicating properly when referring to the concepts).