Digital Certificates — Part 1
Digital Certificates are an important part of secure communication on the internet, and understanding how they work can be helpful for anyone who uses websites or online services. In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of certificates, including what they are, how they work, and the different types of certificates that exist.
What is a Digital Certificate?
A certificate is a digital document that is used to verify the identity of a website or online service. It contains information about the owner of the certificate, the entity that issued the certificate, and other relevant details. When a website or online service presents a certificate to a user’s browser, it allows the user to verify that the website or service is legitimate and that any data that is transmitted between the user and the website is secure.
How Digital Certificates Work?
Certificates work by using a combination of public key encryption and digital signatures. When a website or online service applies for a certificate, it provides some basic information about itself, such as its name and contact details. This information is then verified by a certificate authority (CA), which is a trusted third party that issues certificates.
Once the CA has verified the website’s information, it creates a digital certificate that includes the website’s name, the public key that will be used for encryption, and other relevant details. The CA then signs the certificate using its own private key, which creates a digital signature that can be used to verify the authenticity of the certificate.
When a user visits a website that has a certificate, the website sends the certificate to the user’s browser. The browser then checks the certificate to make sure that it was issued by a trusted CA, and that the information in the certificate matches the information for the website that the user is trying to access. If everything checks out, the browser then uses the public key in the certificate to encrypt any data that is transmitted between the user and the website, ensuring that the data remains secure.