What are certificates used for?

Q

What are certificates used for?

✍: Guest

A

Certificates are used primarily to verify the identity of a person or device, authenticate a service, or encrypt files. Normally you won't have to think about certificates at all. You might, however, see a message telling you that a certificate is expired or invalid. In those cases you should follow the instructions in the message. For more information, see Request or renew a certificate.

Request or renew a certificate

Applies to all editions of Windows Vista. Which edition of Windows Vista am I using?

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

Certificates are used primarily to verify the identity of a person or device, authenticate a service, or encrypt files. Certificates are usually provided for you automatically. For example, if you purchase something online using a secure website, a certificate might be used to encrypt your credit card information. If you want a certificate for your personal use, such as providing a digital signature in e-mail messages, it might not be provided automatically. In this case, you would contact a certification authority to request a certificate and import it. For more information, see Import or export certificates and private keys. If you work for an enterprise that uses certificates for network access and the certificate is not automatically renewed, you might get a message saying that a certificate has expired. Follow these steps to get a new one or to renew one.

NoteThese steps only work to request a certificate from an enterprise certification authority. You must be logged on to a domain that has an enterprise certification authority to request a new certificate. Check with your network administrator if these steps don't work.

2009-03-17, 4685👍, 0💬