What is Digital Certificate? Definition and Meaning - Ikajo Glossary


Digital Certificate

A digital certificate is data attached to a user’s public key which helps others to determine whether this information is authentic or incorrect. The target of using these certificates is to avoid situations of stealing the key of another person.

In fact, this document includes three components:

  • the public key;
  • data, or records (user identity details, such as name, e-mail, and additional restrictive data, including the right of admission, work limits, etc.);
  • the digital signature which connects this certificate with the key.

It must be noted that the owner’s identifier does not always contain data sufficient to uniquely identify him (it may simply be a conditional name). In such cases, the owner’s identification requires the use of additional (which are called out-of-band) measures (before or after obtaining the document, but before using the key).

There are several features describing the elements which e-signature confirms.

  •        Identification. The digital signing confirms the signatory’s identity.
  •        Integration. It confirms that the document content document has not been modified after certification.
  •        The e-signature confirms the origin of the certified content. The signer cannot deny his relation to the signed content.

So, this document simplifies the task of determining the ownership of public keys to intended owners.

What you should pay attention to:

  •        The certifying body that issued this certificate;
  •        Type of certificate;
  •        Validity;
  •        The organization name owing this domain;
  •        Certificate type.
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