Digital certificates are another form of authentication used to prove the identity of the holder of the certificate. They are used for websites to verify that the website being accessed is legitimate.

Most all modern websites will have a SSL certificate. If you’ve ever tried to host anything on the Internet, you’ve probably at least seen the term before.

Modern web browsers will usually have a button next to the search/address bar (usually with a ‘padlock’ icon) that you can click for information about the current site’s certificate.


Here’s how to view some of the certificate information on this website, using FireFox.

Getting a Certificate

Entities that want a certificate to prove their identity send a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) to a Certificate Authority (CA), which will generate and sign the certificate.