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.