9 August, 2021

What is a Code Signing Certificate and How to use it?

Most people don’t think much about Internet security and privacy. However, with the growing prominence of malware and phishing attacks, your personal data, such as bank accounts, IDs, etc., can easily be compromised.

Code signing is an effective means of ensuring your security and privacy on the Internet.

What is the code signing certificate?

Code signing is a process used to ensure that the code / script of a software remains secure, allowing the author to share the content over the Internet without fear of third parties tampering with their code. As such, a Code Signing Certificate indicates that the content or software shared by an author or developer is legitimate and trustworthy.

Why use the code signing certificate?

There are several compelling reasons to start using code signing certificates. The following are some of the most important.

Authentication

After the author signs the software code or script using code signing technology, the software is marked with an authentication stamp that shows the author’s name and website and an indication that the application has not been tampered with. Tells application users that the author of the software is trusted and that they can install the application.

Elimination of Alerts via Popup

If a software does not have a code signing certificate, browsers will warn users through alerts and pop-up messages. This could interfere with the user experience and discourage them from using the software.

Security

MITM (Men in the Middle) attacks are extremely common on the Internet. When software or applications are shared online, third parties can intercept them to alter the code or view its content. However, if the file has been digitally signed with the certificate, they cannot access or manipulate it, ensuring that your files and your online reputation remain safe.

Confidence

Producing and distributing certified code signing software and applications increases user confidence, helping to build a trusted brand reputation.

While Code Signing certificates are used to sign code, SSL / TLS certificates are used to encrypt connections to access a domain. In case you do not use these certificates, customers will receive warning messages that can prevent the use of your website. For example, if a person tries to download software that is not signed with a code signing certificate, a warning message will appear. Similarly, if a user visits a site without SSL / TLS certificates, the browser will display a “not secure” message next to the URL, and customers will generally be discouraged from using the website.

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