What is a Digital Certificate?

What is a Digital Certificate?

A digital certificate, also known as a public key certificate or identity certificate, is a password credential used to validate the authenticity of a user, device, server, or website. They are used for digital communications and to exchange data securely. Digital certificates confirm the authenticity of an organization's website before a user makes a connection. It also ensures that only verified devices can connect to an organization's network. 

Digital certificates use Public Key Infrastructure, a framework of encryption used to protect and authenticate digital communications. They have a key pair, including a public and private one, that should match to make a secure connection.

Digital certificates are scalable, can be implemented to secure many user devices globally, and can be managed from a centralized system. A publicly trusted Certificate Authority can only issue digital certificates.

Below are the three main types of public key certificates: