Few months ago I discovered that Thawte offers free personal E-mail certificates. All I had to do is register and validate my e-mail address to Thawte and that is it. I was on the way of creating digital signature certificates for e-mail for free. Once you register, you can add as many e-mail addresses and create as many certificates as you need. Be aware that if you want to use you e-mail in certificate you have to validate that e-mail with Thawte.
After you register and validate your e-mail address, you can create certificate. I recommend using IE 6 or 7 version on Windows XP since certificate creation application has some issues with Windows Vista or Windows 7 BETA. For this purpose I created virtual machine with Windows XP and IE 7.
After you request your certificate, you have to wait for a few minutes for it to be generated. Important thing is to use same browser to download certificate as one that you used to create it. After your certificate is created you can import it in IE. Here is procedure for importing certificate in IE:
- Login to your Thawte account
- Click Certificates
- Click View Certificate Status
- Click MSIE
- On the bottom of the page select Fetch
- Then select Install Certificate
- Press OK several times
Now we have to export that certificate so we can use it in Office Outlook 2007 to digitaly sign or encrypt messages.
- Go to Tools in IE and select Internet Options
- Select Content tab and then select Certificates
- On Personal tab select your certificate and click Export
- Leave all default options, enter password and save it
Lets import this certificate into Outlook 2007.
- Start Outlook 2007
- Select Tools and then select Trust Center
- Select E-mail Security
- Select Import/Export
- Browse for earlier exported certificate
- Enter password that you used when exporting certificate
- Digital ID name is mail address that you embedded in certificate creation process on Thawte web site
- Click OK two times
Now you have the ability to digitally sign or encrypt your e-mail messages. If you have multiple mailboxes in Outlook 2007, you can import multiple certificates, one for each mail address that you have. You can further increase your trust level by obtaining trust point from WOT (Web Of Trust). More information can be found on Thawte Web site.