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Chapter 28. Addressing Document Protecti... > Using Digital Certificates to Digita...

Using Digital Certificates to Digitally Sign Files and Macros

Office applications use Microsoft Authenticode technology to enable you to digitally sign a file or macro by using a digital certificate. Digital certificates can be likened to online identification cards that are attached to macros and documents. These IDs help confirm to others that a macro or document originated from the signer and hasn’t been altered along the way. Digital certificates contain information about the person who obtained the certificate as well as information about the certification authority that issued the certificate.

Obtaining Digital Certificates

To obtain a digital certificate, you can purchase one from a certification authority (such as VeriSign, at http://www.verisign.com, or E-Lock, at http://www.elock.com), you can obtain one from your organization’s security administrator or IT professional, or you can create a digital signature for limited local use. Since a certification authority doesn’t sign the digital certificates you create, your “homemade” certificates will be considered unauthenticated, which means they’ll generate a security warning if you send the certificate to a user whose security level is set to Medium or be completely disabled if the user’s security level is set to High. (For more information about security levels, see “Setting Word Security Levels” on page 812.)


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