What is Digital Signature?

A digital signature is an electronic form of a signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message. It ensures that the original content is unchanged while in transit. Digital signatures cannot be copied by someone else. It ensures that the original signed message has arrived and the sender cannot disclaim it later.

What is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) is the electronic format of physical certificate like a driving License, passport etc. All Certificates serve a certain purpose. For example, a passport identifies someone as a citizen of that country in same manner a Digital Signature Certificate can be presented electronically to prove the identity of an individual.

Why do I need a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) validates your identity electronically. DSC provides you with a high level of security for your online transactions. You can use certificates to sign/encrypt information such that only the intended recipient can read it. You can digitally sign information to assure the recipient that it has, will not change in transit, and also verify your identity as the sender of the message. You can use Digital Signatures for the following:

  • For sending and receiving digitally signed and encrypted emails.
  • For carrying out secure web-based transactions or to identify other participants of web-based transactions.
  • In e-Tendering, e-Procurement, MCA, Income Tax and also in many other applications.

What is a difference between Digital Signature and Digital Signature certificate?

A Digital Signature is a tool to sign an electronic document whereas a Digital Signature Certificate is a computer based record which:

  • Identifies the Certifying Authority issuing it.
  • Has the name or I the identity of its subscriber.
  • Contains the subscriber’s public key.
  • Is digitally signed by the Certifying Authority issuing it.
  • Is valid for either one year or two years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can have two Digital Certificates for different purposes
Signing an e-mail message means that recipient knows that you signed it and no one tempered with it. Signing validates a message, but it does not provide protection over third party’s observation. Encrypting a message means you coded it in a way that only the intended recipient can decode it. This safeguard our message from any possible alter or theft of information.
You can send digitally sign e-mail to anyone.
Once a Digital Certificate has been issued it cannot be changed. Your Digital Certificate specifically verifies that your public key is bound to your stated e-mail address, so when you change addresses you need to request a new Digital Certificate.
Web-based mail like Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN or AOL is not S/MIME compatible. So you can’t attach digital signatures to it.
No, you have to request a certificate for each email address distinctly.
After download and import Digital Certificate in your web browser, you can use your Digital Certificate with web browser but for using with your email you have to configure necessary settings. To get descriptive help for configuring email client software for using digital signatures, please visit following link: - http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q168/7/26.asp
No, Your DSC needs to be revoked and you will apply for new DSC
Yes, you can use digital signatures for e-tendering.