Resource Centre

Digital Certificates

A digital certificate is an electronic equivalent of your NRIC or passport. To guarantee authenticity, subscriber certificates are digitally signed by the issuing Certification Authority e.g. Netrust, using its private key. This is akin to a passport issuing authority signing off on your passport.

There are many certificate-enabled applications such as online banking, cyber-shopping, electronic data interchange (EDI), secure electronic mail, government applications and services, online health services etc. These applications are expected to increase your productivity, reduce your costs and will make it very convenient for users to access many services from the comfort of their homes or offices. To access these applications securely, you will need to have a digital certificate.

Individuals and members of organisations, including those who control servers.

Netrust offers digital certificates, or Netrust Net-IDs, for personal use, corporate use, as well as for servers. Visit our Products & Services page to find out more. Netrust Net-IDs can be issued on smart cards, certified security tokens or disk-based media, depending on your security needs.

The following specifies the information contained within a personal and corporate Netrust digital certificate. It may also contain additional information as agreed between the user and Netrust. A personal Netrust Digital Certificate will contain information such as:

  • The subscriber’s name and other unique identification information e.g. NRIC, passport number etc.
  • The subscriber’s public key
  • Name and digital signature of the issuing Certificate Authority
  • Expiry date of the certificate. A corporate Netrust Digital Certificate will contain the same information as for the “individual certificate” with the following additional fields:
    • Industry group name (optional)
    • Organisation name
    • Organisation unit/s (if applicable)

To register for a Netrust digital certificate, visit our office with your personal identification documents. We are also working with banks and government organisations to implement Netrust Certificate Registration capabilities in bank branches and government offices. In the near future, you will be able to obtain Netrust Digital Certificates from a bank branch near you. For businesses and government organisations, Netrust can also set up temporary registration services in your premises to register and issue Netrust Digital Certificates to your users on the spot.

When you connect with a secure web server (e.g. by httpss://……) the server will present its certificate to your browser so it can check the certificates validity for you. Email programs use digital certificates to check the authenticity of digital signatures. Using another person’s digital certificate is how you scramble your email to them. (If you scramble it with public keys in their certificate, only that person can unscramble because they are the only ones with the matching private keys).

Netrust provides a service that allows you to suspend or revoke your certificate. You would suspend your certificate if you suspect that your private key has been compromised e.g. someone found out your passphrase. You would revoke it if you were certain it was compromised. An organisation can also revoke a certificate e.g. when an employee leaves.