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How do I obtain a S/MIME Certificate

Document ID: 2691HQ

ISSUE:

How do I obtain an S/MIME Certificate?


SOLUTION:

S/MIME is a way of sending and receiving encrypted and digitally signed messages. S/MIME uses both public and private 'keys' (certificates) to accomplish this. Your private key is used to sign messages, and your public key is used by others to encrypt messages they send to you. Your private key is used do decrypt the encrypted messages others send to you.


For general information about SMIME and public-key cryptography, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/MIME or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_key

CERTIFICATES

Eudora itself does not manage certificates for you. The OS manages your certificates. To view/add certificates, follow these steps:

  • Open the 'Internet Options' Control Panel (Start->Settings->Control Panel->Internet Options)

  • Click the 'Content' tab

  • Click the 'Certificates' button. Here you can view your certificate(s) as well as manage the certificates you have for other people.

It is up to you to manage your certificates here, and it is up to you to obtain a certificate and enter it into this dialog.


There are many ways to obtain certificates, some free and some at a cost. If you a not using this for business, you can obtain certificates here:

  1. Digicert

  2. Thawte

  3. VeriSign

  4. CAcert (not yet in most clients[1], but offers free server certificates also)

Furthermore there are several free public directory servers that offer certificate lookup services to make finding recipients encryption certificates easier, including: VeriSign's Public Directory (ldap://directory.verisign.com)


Note: If you use Internet Explorer to download your certificate it should automatically be placed in the Certificate Store (Internet Options described above). If you use Mozilla Firefox to download your certificate, the certificate will be placed in the Firefox certificate manager and you will need to export if from there and import it into the OS Certificate Store (Internet Options Control Panel).


KEYWORD: EPWIN, SMIME, Digital Signatures


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