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What are software security certificates


									What are software security certificates?

Independent certification authorities such as Verisign issue security
certificates to commercial and individual software publishers. The
ceritification authority verifies the identity of each person or company
registering, assuring that those who sign their code can be held
accountable for what they publish. After successfully completing the
verification process, the certification authority issues the software
publishing certificate to the publisher, who then signs its code before
shipping an application.

Users benefit from this software accountability because they know who
published the software and that the code hasn't been tampered with. In
the extreme and remote case that the software performs unacceptable and
malicious activity on their computers, they can also have recourse
against the publisher. This accountability and potential recourse serve
as a strong deterrent to the distribution of harmful code.

There are different types of certificate, personal (or Client) and
website (or Server). A personal certificate is used when you send
personal information to a client authentication server that requires a
certificate. For example, a personal certificate would contain
information such as your user name and password.

Web browser's support for digital identification lets websites verify
your identity. They store and manage these identifications, in much the
same way that a real wallet stores identification cards. To obtain a
personal certificate, you need to apply for and receive a Digital ID from
a certification authority such as Verisign or Thawte Consulting and the
browser then presents the certificate to the server.

Controlling ActiveX content

Users and organizations that are uncomfortable with the concept of active
content can now choose to prevent it from being stored on their
computers. They can also prevent scripts, Java applets and ActiveX
Controls from executing on their computer.

Security tab options on web browsers

You can define how your browser divides your internet activity into zones
so that you can assign a website to a zone with a suitable security
level. You can also define what active content can be downloaded to your
computer using settings found in the View/Internet Options/Security tab.

Content tab options

In the web browser you can control access to inappropriate sites that
could contain information that is offensive. You can also keep track of
your Active content certificates that are being downloaded to your
computer as well as personal information that is needed to authenticate
your purchases on the net.All this information is controlled and
customizable with the View/Internet Options/Content tab.

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