One of several safeguards for secure e-commerce and overall data transfer, a certificate authority is a third-party organization that creates digital certificates for a public key infrastructure (PKI). The certificate authority guarantees a user's identity and issues public and private "keys" for message encryption and decryption (coding and decoding). Essentially, the certificate authority guarantees that a user is the person he or she claims to be, and conversely, that the provider of the information is who the user believes he or she is accessing.
NetLingo Classification: Online Business
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