Code Signing Certificate Installation: How to Ensure That Your Certificate Has Been Installed Correctly?
Purchasing a code signing certificate is not difficult. It is neither costly nor confusing, and most of the time, you can get code signing certificates from any vendor of your choice. Once you purchase your certificate, installing it is also not a difficult task as most vendors provide installation instructions along with the certificate. However, before you can start signing your code with the new certificate, it is essential to ensure that it has been installed correctly on your system.
So how do you do that? We will tell you in detail how you can verify the installation of your code signing certificate. Let us begin with a brief intro to these certificates first.
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Understanding code signing certificate
As its name suggests, a code signing certificate is used to sign an app’s code or program. The purpose of code signing is the same as SSL certificates’ purpose – to confirm the business’s identity behind it. Just as SSL certificates confirm the website owner’s identity, code signing certificates verify your identity as an app developer. It also confirms that no one has modified the software/app’s installer file after you developed it and signed it with your cheap code signing certificate.
When users try to install the software/app, the operating system checks the installer file’s signature and attempts to validate it. If the validation process completes successfully, the person trying to install the software is shown the name of the person/organization who signed the code. The person can check it and then proceed with the installation. The signature expires automatically if someone modifies the code of your .exe file, and software with an invalid signature shows a warning sign to people who try to install it, thus alerting them that something is wrong with the installer file.
What happens in the absence of a code signature?
In the absence of a code signature, anyone can tamper with your installer file and inject malicious code in it to steal user data or even harm the computers on which software is installed. The user won’t know that the file has been tampered with in the absence of a code signature. That’s why code signing security for mobile application developer or software developer is a must.
With this explanation in mind, now let us check how you can verify whether your certificate has been installed correctly or not.
Verifying Certificate Installation Through Web Browsers
Once you buy a code signing certificate at a cheap price for signing your code and install it on your computer, you can use any web browser of your choice to verify that your certificate was installed correctly.
Here we’ll tell you how to do that in any of the four popular
web browsers used by almost all internet users. Let’s get started with Chrome.
#1. Verifying in Google Chrome
This is the most popular browser globally, which accounts for as much as 70% of the world’s web traffic. Therefore, we will first check the method of verifying your code signing certificate installation in this browser. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- First of all, go to Settings in your Google Chrome by typing chrome://settings in your address bar. Or you can click the Settings option from the Chrome menu button.
- Once on the Settings page, search for SSL in the search bar. You’ll find an option called ‘Security.’ Click it. Or you can click the ‘Privacy and Security’ option in the left column.
- Now you’ll find yourself on the Security Settings page of Chrome. On this page, when you scroll down, you’ll find the option of ‘Manage certificates.’
- In this pop-up window titled ‘Certificates,’ you can see the certificate that you installed recently. If your certificate is showing under the Personal tab of this window, it has been installed correctly. Otherwise, you need to repeat the installation process.
#2. Verifying in Microsoft Edge
Edge is Microsoft’s latest web browser. If you’re a user of this particular browser, you can use it to check the installation of your code signing certificate by following the procedure laid out below. The process is the same as it’s for Google Chrome, with a few minor differences:
- Click the Ellipsis menu button in the top-right corner of the browser, and select ‘Settings.’ Or, type edge://settings/
- Navigate to the ‘Privacy, search and services’ option in the left panel
- Scroll down on the page. You’ll find a ‘Security’ section, and in that section, an option called ‘Manage certificates.’ Click it, and the same ‘Certificates’ pop-up window will open where you’ll be able to find your certificate if it has been installed correctly.
#3. Verifying in Firefox
Next, we have the Firefox browser. In Firefox, the process remains similar, but the appearance and organization of functions are different. Here are the steps:
- Like other browsers, Firefox too comes with a browser menu button. Click on it and choose ‘Options.’
- A new pop-up window appears now, with all browser settings organized under various categories. Click the ‘Advanced’ category, which is the last category with a gear icon.
- Under this category, navigate to the ‘Certificates’ tab. On this tab, choose the ‘View Certificates’
- Now the same certificate manager window will pop-up that opens while following the procedure on other browsers. In that window, you can find your certificate if it has been installed correctly. If you can not see it, then there’s some error in the installation, and you need to repeat the installation process.
#4. Verifying in Internet Explorer
Finally, let’s check the process of verifying code signing certificates for Internet Explorer. The process for IE is quite different from the process of other browsers mentioned till now. Here’s what you need to do:
- Click on the gear icon in its top-right corner, and then click ‘Internet Options’
- A new dialogue box will open before you now with multiple tabs.
- Once you’re in the ‘Content’ tab, click the ‘Certificates’ The certificate manager will open, and you’ll be able to find your certificate listed there if it was installed correctly.
So that is how you can verify the installation of your code signing certificate using any of the popular web browsers. If you’re using any other less popular browser for some reason, the process will remain the same. Once you find that your certificate has been installed correctly, you can start using it to sign your code before compiling it into a .exe file.
If you’re still having any questions about this topic, feel free to share them in the comments. We shall try to answer them at the earliest. If not, then you’re all set to start coding your next program or app with proper code signing right away. Just start getting the most out of your code signing certificate price right away!