What is digital certificate;10 Facts You Must Know

The digital certificate is a virtual identity document used by individuals or legal entities. It works as an electronic CPF or CNPJ and allows the digital signature of documents.This certificate gives authenticity to transactions without the need for the person’s physical presence, which makes processes faster, less bureaucratic and more economical.The digital certificate can be used to sign contracts, issue electronic invoices, sign and send documents, bank transactions, etc. The digital signature has the same legal validity as a notarized signature.

The digital certificate guarantees:

  • Authenticity : recognition of documents and signatures as true;
  • Integrity : proof that the documents have not been altered after signature;
  • Non-repudiation : a person cannot deny that he has signed a document.

The information stored in a digital certificate is extremely secure, as it is protected by highly complex encryption .

The digital signature is not visible in a document like the signature we make by hand. To verify that it has been signed, it is necessary to use recognition software.

How to get a digital certificate?

To obtain a digital certificate, it is necessary to contact a certification authority recognized by the body called Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure – ICP Brasil.

The certifying authority will receive all the documents necessary for the creation of the digital certificate and will encrypt all the information in this kind of virtual identity.

The encryption that protects the data consists of two keys generated by mathematical functions: the public and the private. It is the recognition between these two keys that allows the identification of the digital certificate.

The digital certificate has an expiration date that varies according to the type of certificate. There are two types, the A1 and A3 certificates, understand the difference between them:

Types of digital certificate

  • A1 : certificate with simpler encryption, stored in a digital file and valid for one year.
  • A3 : certificate with more complex encryption, stored on a mobile device ( token or smartcard ) and valid for up to three years.

Benefits of digital certificate

  • Security : by using complex cryptography, the digital certificate system does not allow fraud to occur;
  • Reduction of bureaucracy : there is no need to go to the notary or public agency or print documents – all procedures are carried out virtually;
  • Agility : signing and sending documents online makes the process faster and allows transactions to be carried out remotely.

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