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What are certificates?

alicia1234
alicia1234 asked
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Medium Priority
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Can someone explain to me in plain English what "Certificates" are? I read a posting here that said a user fixed her "slow pc" problem by updating her certificate? I also found that you can do so by going to https://getca.verisign.com/update.html
But what does it all mean? How do I know if I need to "install the new Root certificate" ?
Thanks.
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Commented:
Best way for you to visit Windows Update web site and install "Update Root Cerificates" from recommended updates section.
http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp

Cartificates are a sort of containers for "keys" that are used to encrypt("lock") or sign different data. Different software including OS use certificates to transfer data securely or to check if data comes from valid source and not been changed in transfer or after it was signed. Certificates also have expiration date. Recently as i heard some Verisign certificates have expired. This caused slowdowns of some software. Symantec AntiVirus as an example.

hth,
4auHuk

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Commented:
Do certificates come from more than one place? If I update certificates from Microsoft's site, do I also need to update from Verisign? Are there different sets of certificates?

I use Windows Update religiously ... so then am I covered? Would it come through as a "critical" or "recommended" update?
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Commented:
Thanks. Points to Antowh76 because his answers provided more detail.

Commented:
fairly enough :)

Commented:
Thanks :-)

Best regards, Antonio
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