What is a digital certificate?

In order to bind public keys with their associated user (owner of the private key), public key infrastructures (PKIs) use digital certificates.

Digital certificates are the credentials that facilitate the verification of identities between users in a transaction. Much as a passport certifies one’s identity as a citizen of a country, the purpose of a digital certificate is to establish the identity of users within the ecosystem.

Because digital certificates are used to identify the users to whom encrypted data is sent, or to verify the identity of the signatory of information, protecting the authenticity and integrity of the certificate is imperative in order to maintain the trustworthiness of the system.