The purpose of a digital certificate

Written by david gitonga
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The purpose of a digital certificate
Digital certificates are used for security purposes. (code image by Charles Taylor from Fotolia.com)

Digital certificates are electronic documents that include certificate information that identifies a user, a public key and one or more digital signatures. Digital certificates can be personal certificates, server certificates, software publisher certificates or certificate authority certificates.

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Identification

Digital certificates are used to verify that individuals are associated with a particular server. This allows coworkers and business partners to communicate securely using public communication protocols.

Authentication

Digital certificates, especially Software Publisher Certificates, are used to guarantee that signed code is safe to run and that it comes from a trusted software vendor. A list of trusted software publishers can be edited on your Web browser's settings.

Security

Digital certificates are used to validate HTTPS-based websites and assure the user that all communication, especially e-commerce related information, is secure and is coming from the website in question. Digital certificates are a guarantee that the website is unique and that the relationship between the generator of the website content, the website operator and the purchaser of the certificate is genuine.

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