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