S/MIME

Email certificates

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Electronic certificates. For maximum security. Swiss made.

Trust in Swiss quality when it comes to SSL. Your IT infrastructure is secure thanks to our Swiss CA. We offer you a professional service in several languages. And just in case you’re not satisfied, there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

 

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Order your S/MIME certificate with validation level DV in our online shop now. Validation and issueing take place automatically within a few minutes. S/MIME certificates with OV level are only available as part of an MPKI (Managed Public Key Infrastructure).

How does S/MIME work?

Many companies and private individuals are still sending unencrypted emails. In contrast to SSL-encrypted websites, email certificates (also called S/MIME certificates) are not in widespread use. Most email programs don’t require them – even though S/MIME has existed since the mid-1990s. It’s easy to overlook the value of encryption with an S/MIME certificate – until something goes wrong without it. 

Despite its benefits, there are a lot of misconceptions about S/MIME

The benefits of encrypted and signed emails are numerous. S/MIME (secure/multipurpose internet mail extensions) certificates protect against phishing, while encryption enables secure transfer of personal data and confidential communications. Senders also unambiguously identify themselves. Because the email’s signature is created based on its content, the recipient can also rest assured that this content hasn’t been altered. The certificate also makes it possible to tell which email address or person it is protecting, which builds trust. 

Despite these benefits and the fact that nothing is needed aside from an S/MIME certificate on each side, emails are often not encrypted out of complacency or because of misconceptions. One common mistake is the idea that the servers are already encrypted on all sides, so there is no need to secure the emails being exchanged between the servers. But if we follow that train of thought through to the end, we realise that encrypting the connection doesn’t mean the stored emails are also encrypted. A hacker who manages to access the server can read all the emails and, in the worst-case scenario, steal your customers’ data. A clever way to remember this is: SSL only encrypts the connection, S/MIME encrypts the message itself.

After a one-time installation, your email communications will be secure and encrypted

Another misconception is that email encryption with S/MIME certificates is complicated. Of course, that depends on how you define ‘complicated’. We strongly recommend that you make the one-time effort of about 30 minutes to buy, request, download and install a certificate in your email program’s settings. After that, you’ll be able to send signed emails. If the message recipient also has a certificate installed, you can additionally encrypt the email exchange with S/MIME. We also recommend our partners’ attractive offers for email gateways . An email gateway allows for efficient, centralised signing and encryption of all emails within an organisation. 

S/MIME certificates confirm that a public key (and therefore also the private key) belongs to an identity or an email address. Since, unlike SSL certificates, S/MIME certificates are not published, they must first transmit their public key to the other party by sending a signed message one time. Your contact must do the same and send you their public key. As soon as the public keys have been exchanged, email correspondence can continue with S/MIME encryption: your contact encrypts their response with your public key and signs it with their private key. When you open this email after receiving it, you use your private key (the counterpart to the public key sent with the email) to decrypt the message. Last but not least, you check the other party’s public key to verify the integrity of the message. 

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