Digital certificate, otherwise more commonly known as SSL certificate, is a certificate that gives you information about:
- Who the digital certificate is issued to; the owner
- Who issued the digital certificate; third-party CA
- Validity period
In this certificate, you will also be able to see more details such as:
- The company’s registered address
- Certificate hashing algorithm used for site encryption
- Domains certified under the digital certificate
The main purpose of a digital certificate is to provide (1) encryption and (2) authentication.
With this certificate, a person can exchange information with another person or organisation securely over the Internet using the public key stored within this document. Only the recipient (with the private key paired with the public key) will be able to see full information sent. For example, in a ‘contact form’ page with a digital certificate installed (displayed as https on address bar), a user types a message entering his name, contact and email address. All these information will be protected and will not be visible by any third-party except the final recipient.
Digital certificate also serves as a tool for authenticating websites. Visitors can trace to see if the certificate is domain validated or organisation validated. For domain validated (DV) sites, the site may or may not be legitimate (because DV certificates are easy to obtain even by cyber attackers). To be sure that the website is safe, be sure to contact the website owner or support to double check on their domain and business.
Organisation validated (OV) certificates, on the other hand, have better authentication than DV as trusted third party Certificate Authorities (CAs) would ensure a physical address exists for the company before they issue out the certificate. OV certificates would make verification easy for visitors and would save you (the website owner) the hassle of answering questions on company legitimacy.
Where can you find a website’s digital certificate?
Only websites with a SSL/TLS digital certificate installed (sites with https) will have this information made available to the public. Follow these steps to trace and locate a website’s digital certificate.
1. Click on the green padlock icon located on your web address bar
2. A drop-down menu will pop up beneath the green padlock
3. Click on ‘Connection’ next to the ‘Permissions’ tab
4. Click on ‘Certificate information’ as underlined
How to get a Digital Certificate?
A digital certificate can be purchased from Cyber Secure Asia (partner of DigiCert Inc.) for company’s located in Singapore or Asia. Cyber Secure Asia provides local support in Singapore for DigiCert’s full range of digital certificate products and can assist clients with purchase and installation.
Below are the different types of digital certificates available for server encryption:
- Single-name SSL – covers a single domain with and without ‘www’
- Single-name Extended Validation (EV) SSL -provides a trusted green bar of assurance
- Multi-Domain (Unified Communications) SSL – covers multiple domain under one organisation
- EV Multi-Domain SSL – covers multiple domain with green bar
- Wildcard SSL – covers unlimited sub-domains and base domain
Should you have any questions about digital certificates, please feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond to your email within one working day.