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What are the electronic signature and certificates?

What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature allows the recipient of a message to verify the authenticity of the issuer of the information, as well as verifying that said information has not been modified since it was generated. Therefore, an electronic signature provides a means of authentication and data integrity, as well as preventing the repudiation of its origin, as the original sender of a message signed electronically cannot successfully deny that he sent it.

An electronic signature is used for the same purpose as a hand-written signature. However, a hand-written signature is easy to forge, while a digital signature is impossible to forge without knowing the signatory's private code.

What is a digital certificate?

A digital certificate is an electronic signature system that allows its owner to be identified. It guarantees the identity of the person establishing the electronic communication and, if used to sign data, guarantees that these have not been modified, as well as guaranteeing the identity of the signatory.

How do I obtain a digital certificate?

If you have an electronic Spanish National ID Card, you already have a digital certificate, and you can also obtain a digital certificate from any recognised certificate provider.

For example, on the Ceres website http://www.cert.fnmt.es/ you will find information on how to obtain a digital certificate.

What do I need to use an electronic Spanish National ID Card and other cryptographic cards?

In order to use digital certificates in the form of cryptographic cards you will need, in addition to a card reader, specific software in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. For example, to use the electronic National Identity Card, you should consult the link How to use the electronic National Identity Card. In order to use a CERES cryptographic card, you should consult FAQs on the CERES website. For other cryptographic cards, consult the manufacturer's website..