Digital certificates are a form of electronic credential that verifies the identity of an individual or organization. Certificates contain identifying information and public key data about a computer or other device, communications services, or software.
Can be used in the following ways:
- • Digital signatures to protect against tampering with a message while it is being transmitted over a network.
- • As an electronic key to encrypt email, authenticate users, and encrypt sensitive information.
- • Digital certificates are also used in software programs, which allow e-commerce transactions on the Internet or other networks.
Digital certificates help prevent third parties from intercepting messages and data sent across a network, impersonating computer servers, and hacking into private accounts by encrypting messages and data sent over the network.
Digital certificates can be displayed as a small window containing an image of the certificate owner. Depending on the software, this might contain identifying information and public key data about a computer or other device, communications services, or software. It may also display the date and time when the certificate will expire and what name was used to create it.
They also help ensure that a message is from a particular person or organization, whether it be a private chat session, Internet banking page, email, or instant messaging service.