Just as you might use your driver’s license to validate who you are, a digital personal certificate lets you securely identify yourself to others on the Internet. Microsoft Internet Explorer supports client authentication, so you can simply use your personal certificate to access specific services or Web sites on the Internet. Internet Explorer wallet technology lets you store and manage these certificates, much like a real wallet stores your identification cards.
- Obtaining and Using Personal Certificates
Personal certificates verify your identity on the Web. You can obtain your own personal certificate from VeriSign, Inc. As a user of Internet Explorer, you are eligible to receive a free Class 1 Digital ID(SM). After you download Microsoft Internet Explorer, our online setup pages will show you how to obtain your free certificate.
- Forget Your Password?
And you only have two minutes to check the box scores on your favorite sports Web site? With Internet Explorer, you don’t have to type your user name and password every time you want to access a subscription Web service. Instead, Internet Explorer functions as your virtual wallet, flashing your personal certificate to Web servers that want to verify your identity. It works the other way, too. You can also store site certificates of Web servers in Internet Explorer. This means you can verify the identity of any Web merchant or other Web server before you purchase goods or communicate with them.
You’re not getting the most out of this page unless you’re running Internet Explorer.
- Viewing Site Certificates
Site certificates verify that you’re really connecting to the Web sites that you believe you’re connecting to.
Viewing information almost never presents a security risk, but sending information, such as your credit-card number, often does. Before you send such information, security certificates are sent from the secure Web sites to Internet Explorer. The certificate provides certain information about security for that site. Certificates are issued to a particular organization for a specific period of time. Internet Explorer verifies the Internet address stored in the certificate and that the current date precedes the expiration date.
To see the site certificates stored in Internet Explorer, click the View menu, and then click Options. Click the Security tab, and then click the Sites button. Next time you connect to one of the listed Web services, you’ll know you’re connecting to the real thing.