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The difference between TLS/SSL, S/MIME and code signing certificates

TLS/SSL, S/MIME and code sign­ing cer­tifi­cates are dif­fer­ent types of dig­i­tal cer­tifi­cates used in IT secu­ri­ty.

TLS/SSL cer­tifi­cates are used to secure web traf­fic by encrypt­ing the data trans­ferred between a web serv­er and a client. This ensures that all data exchanged over the Inter­net remains pri­vate and secure.

S/MIME cer­tifi­cates are used to encrypt and dig­i­tal­ly sign e‑mails. They allow users to encrypt and dig­i­tal­ly sign their emails to ensure that only the intend­ed recip­i­ent can read the mes­sage and that the mes­sage has not been tam­pered with.

Code sign­ing cer­tifi­cates are used to sign soft­ware and oth­er dig­i­tal files. This allows users to ver­i­fy that the soft­ware or file they are down­load­ing is legit­i­mate and has not been tam­pered with by third par­ties.

Over­all, all three types of cer­tifi­cates are used for secu­ri­ty pur­pos­es, but they have dif­fer­ent func­tions and are used in dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios.