What is a Digital (SSL) Certificate?

What is a Digital (SSL) Certificate?

A Digital Certificate allows you to establish your credentials when doing business or other transactions on the Web. You can present a Digital Certificate electronically to prove your identity or your right to access information or services online.

Digital Certificates, bind an identity to a pair of electronic keys that can be used to encrypt and sign digital information. A Digital Certificate makes it possible to verify someone's claim that they have the right to use a given key, helping to prevent people from using phony keys to impersonate other users. Used in conjunction with encryption, Digital Certificates provide a more complete security solution, assuring the identity of all parties involved in a transaction.

A Digital Certificate is issued by a Certification Authority (CA) and signed with the CA's private key. A Digital Certificate typically contains the:

  • Owner's public key
  • Owner's name
  • Expiration date of the public key
  • Name of the issuer (the CA that issued the Digital Certificate)
  • Serial number of the Digital Certificate
  • Digital signature of the issuer
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