Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Precautionary Measures For Safekeeping Of Digital Certificates

Why should I save a backup copy of my Digital Certificate?

In case yours hard drive crashes or your Digital Certificate gets accidentally deleted. If you store a backup copy of your Digital Certificate on a floppy disk in a secure place, then you will always be able to re-install your Digital Certificate.

Will unplugging my computer disrupt my Digital Certificate?

No. Your key pair and your Digital Certificate are stored on your hard drive and are not disrupted by removing the power source to your computer.

How do I protect my Digital Certificate/Private key?

Protect your computer from unauthorized access by keeping it physically secure. Take measures to protect your computer from viruses.  Always chose to protect your private key with a good password.

What if some one copies my Digital Certificate?

Your Digital Certificate cannot be used without your private key, which is never transmitted to us. To maintain security, your private key should be protected by a password and never sent across any network.

What does my Private Key look like?

Private Keys are not easily viewed simply because they need to remain secure.

How is my Digital Certificate's private key protected?

Your private key is protected in two ways:-

  1. It is stored on your computer's hard drive so you can control access to it.
  2. When you generate your Digital Certificate's private key at collection time, the software you use (such as your browser) will probably ask you for a password. This password protects access to your private key. For Internet Explorer users, your private key is normally protected by your Windows password.

A third party can access your private key only by:-

  1. having access to the file your key is stored in (which is usually part of your system's configuration information) and
  2. Knowing your private password. Some software permits you to choose to not have a password protect your private key. If you use this option, then you are trusting that no one, presently or in the future, will have unauthorized access to your computer. In general, it is far easier to use a password than to completely safeguard your computer physically. Not using a password is a bit like pre-signing all of the cheques in your chequebook and then leaving it open on your desk.
I forgot my private key password. Can someone change it for me?

Unfortunately not.

I accidentally deleted my Digital Certificate from my PC's hard disk drive. What should I do now?

There is no way to reactivate your Digital Certificate.

My PC's hard disk drive crashed. Is there any way to recover my Digital Certificate?

A hard drive crash usually deletes all key pair and Digital Certificate files in your computer. there is no way to reactivate the Digital Certificate.

My computer was stolen. What should I do to protect my Digital Certificate?

If your key files were protected with a password, then it is unlikely that the thief will be able to use your Digital Certificate to impersonate you.

Can more than one person store their Digital Certificate on a computer?