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Chapter EIGHTEEN. Making Your Documents ... > TIP 142: Creating a Digital ID Profi...

TIP 142: Creating a Digital ID Profile

The key to document security (pun intended) is a key encryption process. In order for you to share secure documents with others, and for others to share secure documents with you, you need to use digital signatures. A digital signature is based on a digital ID, just as your handwritten signature represents you. A digital signature, digital ID, and digital profile are the same thing.

How a Digital Signature Works

A digital signature is composed of two parts: a public key and a private key. The private key is yours alone, and you share the public key with others. Your colleague's signature also contains a pair of keys; the private key is hers alone, and she shares the public key with you. If your colleague has your public key listed in her document, she can share the information with you; if you have her public key listed in a document, you can share with her. Acrobat lets you use a number of keys for the same document and share the document and keys with a group.

When creating a new ID, you can choose from two options:

  • A PKCS#12 Digital ID file, which uses a standard format that is supported by Web browsers and most security software; the IDs have .pfx or .p12 extensions.

  • A Windows Certificate Store ID, which is available to other Windows applications and protected by a Windows login. This option is available only for Windows users.



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