Advantages of a Digital Certificate

By Pallab Dutta

A Digital Certificate is an electronic card, or the digital equivalent of an identification card, that certifies online transactions, e-commerce and other authentications on the Internet. A third-party Certificate Authority (CA) issues a public key on high-volume e-commerce sites, in emails send by financial services, banks and other online privacy-based businesses. These certificates are meant to authenticate the legitimacy of the communications, interactions and possible transactions between the sender and the receiver. These certificates also authenticate casual surfing of portals, sites and forums.

Communication Security

Billions of emails are being transmitted over the Web. For important communication between different entities, a Digital Certificate is used as an attachment to an electronic mail message for security purposes and to verify the authenticity of the senders.

Online Banking

Online banking would not be possible or acceptable by millions of customers without Digital Certificates provided by specialized third-party companies or reputable Certificate Authorities (CAs), such as VeriSign, DigiCert, Thawte and GeoTrust. These certificates ensure the important variables of trust and integrity and facilitate additional levels of protection for sensitive data exchange, information access and transactions.

Facilitating E-commerce

Millions of Americans are shopping online and need to be sure that websites, portals and e-tailers' sites are secure and reliable. A Certificate Authority's secured seal sign or a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate enables encryption of sensitive information on e-commerce sites and reassures customers about the safety and trustworthiness of shopping, divulging credit card information or doing business online.

Thwart Online Threats

To negate the increasing perils and threats of online fraud and identity theft, the third-party certification authority provided in the form of Digital Certificates can be reassuring for millions of Internet users and casual surfers.

Other Advantages

Certificate Authorities have extended the standard electronic authentication features of Digital Certificates, and leveraged their advantages beyond PCs to include mobile phones, smart cards and other handheld devices.