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Digital Certificate

 

A digital certificate is the electronic version of an ID card that establishes your credentials and authenticates your connection when performing e-Commerce transactions over the Internet, using the World Wide Web.

To obtain Digital Certificate an organisation must apply to a Certification Authority which is responsible for validating and ensuring the authenticity of requesting organisation. The Certificate will identify the name of the organisation, a serial number, the validity date ("from / to") and the organisation's Public Key where encryption to / from that organisation is required.

In addition, the Digital Certificate will also contain the Digital Signature of the Certification Authority to allow any recipient to confirm the authenticity of the Digital Certificate.

A global standard (X. 509 Public Key Infrastructure for the Internet) defines the requirements for Digital Certificates and the major Certificate Authorities conform to this. Such standards, and the integrity of the Certificate Authorities are vital for the establishment of 'digital trust', without which e-Commerce will never attain its potential.


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