Digital Certificates And Their Function

A digital certificate is an electronic identification that allows information to be passed securely between individuals, organizations and computers over an internet connection by use of the public key infrastructure (PKI).Digital certificates are able to provide security levels that are higher and assures an individual on the electronic identities and the integrity of the content. This is important since electronic banking and services have become common. However, there is increasing concern from organizations about the security and privacy level when online transactions are carried out. Encryption is deemed as unsatisfactory since the origin of the encrypted message cannot be proven. When digital certificates are combined with encryption, the identity of the user is verified thus proving if they have the right to use a certain key and this prevents individuals from being impersonated. The digital certificate does this by providing information of identifying an individual that cannot be copied or forged, and can be confirmed since it was created by an agency that is trustworthy. In order to prove that a certificate is genuine and within the validity period, a root certificate that is established by a trustworthy certificate authority signs it digitally. Browsers and operating systems contain lists of trusted root certificates for easier verification of the certificates that have been issued and signed.

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