What Is an Email Certificate and How Do I Get One?

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At CheapSSLsecurity.com, customers often ask us what an email certificate is and how they can get one. So, we figured it’s about time that we wrote an article that answers those precise questions.

What is an Email Certificate?

When people talk about an email certificate, they’re typically referring to a type of X.509 digital certificate that’s used to secure data at rest for email users. Some users prefer terms like “S/MIME certificates” (because they secure MIME data), “email signing certificate,” or “personal authentication certificates,” etc.

Regardless of what you want to call it, it’s a useful tool to have at your disposal that enhances the security of your personal or business digital correspondences.

That’s because an email certificate is like the modern, high-tech version of a certified letter. You know, if the postal service made it so that a sender could encrypt their message, prove their identity, and also require the recipient to provide a specific piece of validating information that verifies they’re the intended recipient…

Okay, so it’s not really like a certified letter. But it does help people send emails while doing those things.

What an Email Certificate Does and How It Works

In a nutshell, an email certificate uses public key infrastructure (PKI) to:

  • Allow users to digitally sign their emails to verify their identity through the attestation of a trusted third party known as a certificate authority (CA).
  • Allow users to encrypt the entire contents (messages, attachments, etc.) of their emails so that the information is secure before it transmits from server to server across the internet. This helps to protect the data from man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks.

You may be wondering: “Wait, isn’t public key encryption something for SSL/TLS certificates?” And, yes, you’d be correct in that assumption. But we’re here to tell you that public key encryption isn’t only for SSL/TLS encrypted connections for data in transit protection. It’s also used to create end-to-end encryption that protects data when it’s at rest and sitting in your (or your recipient’s) email server as well.

Types of Email Digital Certificates

Depending on your needs, budget, and the size of your organization, there are a few types of email digital signature certificates to choose from:

CPAC Basic CPAC Pro CPAC Enterprise
Validation Requirements Domain Control Domain Control

Identity Verification

Domain Control

Identity Verification

Organization Validation

Maximum Term 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years
Certificate Fields [email protected] [email protected]

First Name, Last Name

[email protected]

First Name, Last Name

Company Name

Company Address

Email Encryption Yes Yes Yes
Email Signing Yes Yes Yes
Document Signing Yes Yes Yes
Client Authentication Yes Yes Yes
Starting Price Starting at as little as $9.98 Per Year Starting at as little as $31.71 Per Year Starting at as little as $41.79 Per Year
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Where Do I Get an Email Certificate?

Remember those trusted third parties we mentioned a minute or two ago? Yes, the certificate authorities. Well, they’re the ones who issue email certificates that you can use with most major email clients such as Outlook, Apple Mail, IBM notes, Thunderbird, etc.

Here at CheapSSLsecurity.com, we borrow from one of our certificate authority partners, Comodo CA, and refer to them as personal authentication certificates, or PACs. That’s because they help you authenticate yourself to users in addition to providing end-to-end encryption of your email data.

If you’re looking to buy an email digital certificate from a CA or another reputable reseller at the best price, then look no further. We buy email certificates in such large quantities that we get them at steeply discounted rates and can turn around and sell them to you at the best prices you can find anywhere — guaranteed.

See for yourself why people love CheapSSLsecurity.com:

Purchase an Email Digital Certificate & Save Up to 74%!

We offer the best discount on all types of email signing certificates with prices starting as low as $9.98 per year.

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