Using certificates for privacy and security


Using certificates for privacy and security

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A certificate is a digital document that helps verify the identity of a person or website. Certificates are issued by companies known as certification authorities. You can use certificates to help protect your personally identifiable information on the Internet and to help protect your computer from unsafe software.

Internet Explorer uses two different types of certificates:  A personal certificate helps verify that you are who you say you are. This information is used when you send personal information over the Internet to a website that requires a certificate verifying your identity. You can help control the use of your identity by having a private key on your computer. When used with e-mail programs,

security certificates with private keys are also known as digital IDs.  A website certificate helps identify that a specific website is genuine. It helps to ensure that another website does not assume the identity of the original secure site. When you are sending personal information over the Internet, it is a good idea to check the certificate of the website to make sure that you are communicating with the site that you expect. When you are downloading software from a website, you can view certificates to help verify that the software is coming from a known, reliable source and that it has not been tampered with in transit.

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