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Obtaining Client Certificates

Updated: August 22, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 with SP1

You can obtain a client certificate from a trustworthy, third-party organization, called a certification authority (CA). Before issuing a certificate, the CA might need to verify your identity. The identification information required by the CA varies, depending on the type of certificate that you want to obtain. How these certificates are obtained and implemented depends upon the browser that is being used.

When you choose a CA to issue client certificates, consider the following questions:

  • Is the CA a well-known and trusted organization?

  • What kind of information will the CA require from you to verify your identity? Most CAs require you to provide detailed identifying information, such as your name, address, organization name, and e-mail address.

  • Does the CA have a Web site you can use to request your client certificate?

  • Are the certificates issued by the CA compatible with your browser and server?

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