Digital encryption can be compared to the centuries-old practice of sealing letters with a wax seal on the envelope. The simplest way to get a digital certificate is to buy one on-line with a credit card. In the early days of the Internet, you had to simply trust that what an on-line retailer said on their website was the truth. Personal digital certificates for personal use usually cost less than $20, and personal certificates intended for commercial use cost $5-90 depending on how many you purchase. Depending on what kind of certificate you want, you might be required to fax documents proving your identity―a process known as ‘vetting’before you are issued a certificate. A digital certificate can be used to encrypt and sign digital content, because it consists of cryptographic information. Usually, the more expensive the certificate, the more rigorous the identification process will be. By encrypting digitally, the contents of an attachment or message cannot be altered or tampered with while they are being delivered. Doing Internet business was remarkably different from meeting someone face-to-face in an office to shake hands, sign papers, and exchange money.
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