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Security Tools: Encryption and Security Certificates

First in a series on security tools, this guide discusses encryption, security certificates, and Public Key Infrastructure

Sharing Your Public Key

If you've obtained a security certificate, through your employer or from one of several commercial providers, you may now use it to sign and encrypt documents and messages. These two functions are essentially complementary, with regard to the use of your public key and private key.

Share Your Public Key

First, recall that you keep your private key secure, sharing it with no one, and you distribute your public key widely to correspondents. You can even include it in your email signature, your LinkedIn profile, and other publicly available sources. First you need to export your public key to a text form. In Windows you do this with the Windows Certificate Manager Center: enter "Certificate Manager" in the Task Bar search box select "Run," then follow these instructions.On  MacOS use the KeyChain app and follow these instructions.

Here is the author's public key in this format:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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-----END CERTIFICATE-----