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Network Decisions offers free certificates for all purposes to include digital email signing, encryption, and securing all methods of communication through SSL. 

The Network Decisions Root Certificate does not ship with the Microsoft operating systems in the Default Trusted Root Certificates store.  This will cause a warning to appear until the Network Decisions Root Certificate is installed.  To install the Network Decisions Root Certificate, first go here and click on "install this CA certification path".  Alternately, it can be downloaded from the above site and distributed through group policy or other means. 

To request a certificate for any purpose YOU MUST COMPLETE TWO STEPS:  First, go to this site and make your request.  After making your request, send an email to Network Decisions to verify you have made a successful request and would like to have it approved.  Indicate the purpose of the certificate you requested. 

Network Decisions will verify the email address of the party requesting the certificate before approving the certificate.  In the case of SSL certificates for websites, mail servers, and domains, the requesting email address MUST match the email address listed in the publicly available domain registration information.  After the request has been approved, the certificate can be downloaded from here

Network Decisions is not responsible for the use of these certificates and does not maintain their fitness for any particular purpose.  Network Decisions assumes the user understands how to use and request certificates.  Assistance with the process will be billed at standard support rates.  That being said, DON'T FORGET TO MARK YOUR EMAIL, EFS RECOVERY, AND AUTHENTICATION CERTIFICATES AS EXPORTABLE during your request.  This is done by selecting the "advanced request", selecting "using a form" and then making sure the "mark keys as exportable box" is checked.  If you fail to do this, you will be unable to transport the certificates to another computer for use. 

How do I request SSL certificates for an IIS website?

Information on requesting SSL certificates for IIS 5 and 6 is available here.  Once approved, you can download the certificate. To install the certificate, go through the same wizard, but this time choose the installation options that will now be available. 

How do I request certificates for SSL over SMTP?

The same instructions as above apply.  Use the wizard on your SMTP service instead of the website to generate the request and install the certificate.  Keep in mind, the DNS record pointing to your server, the server name on the certificate, and the server name in the client mail application should be the same or the certificate will give a warning. 

How do I use certificates for digital email signing and encryption?

The certificate request is simple if the instructions to the left are followed.  Email certificates are listed as a option.  Make sure you provide the same information on the certificate as you have in your mail client (exact name, email address).  Ensure that you check the box to mark the certificate as exportable or you will not be able to use it on other machines. 

Once approved, the certificate can be automatically installed upon your return and selection to  check on a pending certificate.  The certificate must then be selected in your mail client.  To use the certificate with an account in Outlook Express, you must click tools-->Accounts-->select your mail account-->choose properties-->click the security tab-->select your certificate for both signing and encryption.  If you did not list the same information on the certificate as is listed in your mail client, the certificate will not appear as an option to be selected. 

To actually digitally sign the mail, just click the digitally sign box on the mail you are composing.  To encrypt the mail, you must have recieved a digitally signed mail from the party you are trying to send the the encrypted mail to.   

How do I stop the untrusted root certificate warnings?

See the column on the left for directions on installing the Network Decisions root certificate.  This will stop the Network Decisions Certificates from giving warnings.  

What precautions do you take to identify the party requesting a certificate?

Network Decisions will only send SSL website and other domain certificates to email addresses listed in the publicly available domain registration information.  For email certificates, the email address used on the certificate will be verified and used to distribute the certificate. 

How do I export/import an email or other private certificate for use on another computer?

Microsoft instructions on exporting and importing certificates are available here