The glossary below contains many of the terms you will find in common use throughout our website. Please refer to this list to find definitions of terms and answers to other Internet security-related questions.

CA Certificate Authority

A trusted third-party organization or company that issues digital certificates that are used to create digital signatures and public-private key pairs. The role of the CA in this process is to guarantee that the entity granting the unique certificate is, in fact, who it claims to be. This means that the CA usually has an arrangement with the requesting entity to confirm a claimed identity. CAs are a critical component in data security and electronic commerce because they guarantee that the two parties exchanging information are really who they claim to be.