What is a Digital Signature ?
A digital signature is an electronic form of a signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of a document, and also ensure that the original content of the message or document that has been sent is unchanged. Digital signatures are easily transportable and cannot be imitated by someone else. The ability to ensure that the original signed message arrived means that the sender cannot easily disclaim it later.
What is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?
Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) is the electronic format of physical or paper certificate like a driving License, passport etc. Certificates serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose; for example, a Passport identifies someone as a citizen of that country; who can legally travel to any country. Likewise, a Digital Signature Certificate can be presented electronically to prove your identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally.
Why do I need a Digital Signature Certificate ?
A Digital Signature Certificate authenticates your identity electronically. It also provides you with a high level of security for your online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of the information exchanged using a Digital Signature Certificate. You can use certificates to encrypt information such that only the intended recipient can read it. You can digitally sign information to assure the recipient that it has not been changed in transit, and also verify your identity as the sender of the message.
What is a Registration Authority (RA) ?
A RA (Registration Authority) like e-Solutions is an agent of the Certifying Authority who collects the application forms and related documents for Digital Signature Certificates, verifies the information submitted and approves or rejects the application based on the results of the verification process.
Why does a digital signature certificate have a limited validity period ?
Digital signature certificates have an explicit start date and an explicit expiration date. Most applications check the validity period of a certificate when the digital certificate is used. The signature certificate expiration date is also used for managing the certificate revocation list (CRL). A certificate is removed from the revocation list when its natural expiration date arrives. As such, generally the shorter the certificate validity period, the shorter the CRL.
How does a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) work ?
A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) explicitly associates the identity of an individual/device with a two keys - public and private keys. The certificate contains information about a user's identity (for example, their name, pincode, country, email address, the date the certificate was issued and the name of the CA. These keys will not work in the absence of the other. They are used by browsers and servers to encrypt and decrypt information regarding the identity of the certificate user.
The private key is stored on the user's computer hard disk or on an external device such as a USB token. The user retains control of the private key; it can only be used with the issued password. The public key is disseminated with the encrypted information. The authentication process fails if either one of these keys in not available or do not match. This means that the encrypted data cannot be decrypted and therefore, is inaccessible to unauthorized parties.
What is a root certificate, and why do I need one ?
Are Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)s legally valid in India ?
Yes, as per Information Technology Act 2000 in India, Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) are legally valid in India. Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) are issued by licensed Certifying Authorities under the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India as per the Information Technology Act.
Where can I purchase a Digital Signature Certificate ?
Legally valid Digital Signature Certificates are issued only through a Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA), Govt. of India,licensed Certifying Authorities (CA), such as eMudhra. eMudhra, a Certifying Authority (CA) licensed by CCA, offers secure digital signatures through various options tailored to suit individual as well as organizational needs through RA(Registration Authority like e-Solutions.
What is the difference between a Digital Signature and a Digital Signature Certificate ?