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How to Use a Comodo Email Certificate to Secure Your Email

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Comodo secure email certificates use encryption to sign and secure your email data

Though it’s likely not at the top of your list of the IT security measures you need to implement, a Comodo email certificate is nevertheless vital to your organization’s security, health, success, and reputation.

This is because email communications are integral to the operations of many businesses, including yours. This instantaneous virtual communications channel connects employees with their colleagues worldwide as well as with their customers, vendors, and partners. It is fast, easy to use, and convenient. One thing it may not be, however, is secure.

Most email providers offer SSL/TLS encryption as a way to secure their customers’ communications. Well, great! They’re encrypting my emails, so this must mean that my information is secure, right?

Wrong — and here’s why, along with what you need to know about how to use a Comodo email certificate to secure your email:

In-Transit Data Protection vs. At-Rest Data Protection

SSL/TLS encryption secures the connection between you and the mail server, and the mail server to the internet. It does not, however, encrypt the content or attachments of your email communications themselves. This is the difference between in-transit and at-rest data protection.

In-transit data encryption, much like it sounds, only protects your information when it is on the move or being transmitted from one location to the other. At-rest data encryption, on the other hand, encrypts the data before it is ever sent to the mail server. This means that your information, while it’s sitting in your inbox or in your email recipient’s inbox, is not secure. This is where a Comodo email certificate, or what’s also known as a Comodo authentication certificate, comes into play.

How a Comodo Email Certificate Protects Your Emails

A Comodo email certificate is a type of email signing certificate that is put out by Sectigo (formerly known as Comodo CA). This type of certificate serves dual purposes: It allows you as an email sender to digitally sign and encrypt your emails. It does this through the use of the S/MIME protocol, or what is known as a secure/multipurpose internet mail extension. Protocols are a set of rules that allow computers to transmit information between electronic devices such as computers and networks.

Digitally Sign Your Communications

A huge benefit of using an S/MIME certificate is that it provides non-repudiation of origin with regard to your emails. It proves the sender of an email through a timestamped digital signature. This means that your recipients will know that your emails came from you and that a cybercriminal is not spoofing you.

When you install an email certificate on your email client and enable it for digital signing, it applies the following steps for each email to create a unique digital signature. Here’s how the process works:

  • A private key (on the sender’s end) generates a digital signature that is authenticated (by the email recipient) using a matching public key.
  • The public key accompanies the encrypted email.

Encrypt Your Emails and Attachments

By encrypting your emails, you’re protecting the integrity of your email data (MIME data). Essentially, the use of the S/MIME protocol in email communications increases the privacy of your communications and overall data security. This is done using your recipient’s public key to encrypt the message to create at-rest data protection. Because S/MIME offers at-rest and in-transit data protection, you’re able to keep your emails secure until the intended recipient with the private key decrypts them.

Users who use email clients whose servers are encrypted with SSL/TLS and use S/MIME get the best of both worlds: They can encrypt both data in transit and at rest for more fully protect the integrity of your data.

How to Implement a Comodo Email Certificate

Since you’re looking at an article about how to use a Comodo Email Certificate, we’re going to assume that you’ve already purchased an email signing certificate and are looking for information about how to put it use. This means that you’ll want to complete a few more steps. Thankfully, we’ve already put together a step-by-step guide to walk you through the following processes (note: you must use Firefox  as the web browser to complete these processes):

  • Generate your certificate signing request and encryption keys — This step can be completed in your account dashboard where you’ll enter your organization and contact details.
  • Validate your application — You’ll receive an email with a subject line “Please verify your application.” Follow the instructions to complete your certificate signing request (CSR).
  • Collect or download your certificate — You can locate the certificate in your Firefox Certificate Manager and download it to your desktop in a PCKS#12 (.p12) file format.
  • Install your email signing certificate — Import the certificate (a.k.a. CPAC) to your email client (such as Outlook) to start signing and encrypting your emails.

What Email Clients You Can Use with a Comodo Email Certificate

Here’s the good and the bad news — we’ll start with the bad news. Many webmail clients do not support email signing and encryption certificates. The good news, though, is that many email clients do support S/MIME certificates. Some of the major email clients that support S/MIME include:

  • Apple Mail
  • Cipher Mail
  • Gmail (G Suite Enterprise and G Suite for Education)
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Mozilla Thunderbird

Different Types of Comodo Email Certificates

At the ComodoSSL Store, we offer several personal authentication certificates to meet the needs of your business based on cost, term, validation requirements, and other priorities:

CPAC BasicCPAC Pro:CPAC Enterprise
Price Starting From$12.95/year$32.38/year$43.12/year
Maximum Term3 Years3 Years3 Years
Validation RequirementsDomain Control• Domain Control
• Identity Verification
• Domain Control
• Identity Verification
• Organization Validation
Certificate Fields[email protected][email protected]
• First Name, Last Name
[email protected]
• First Name, Last Name
• Company Name
• Company Address
Email EncryptionEmail Encryption IncludedEmail Encryption IncludedEmail Encryption Included
Email SigningEmail Encryption IncludedEmail Encryption IncludedEmail Encryption Included
Document SigningEmail Encryption IncludedEmail Encryption IncludedEmail Encryption Included
Client AuthenticationEmail Encryption IncludedEmail Encryption IncludedEmail Encryption Included

Comodo Email Signing and Encryption Certificates — Save Up to 78%

Comodo Email Certificate

When you buy directly from Comodo SSL Store you can pay as little as $12.95 per year. for a CPAC authentication certificate.

Compare CPAC Certificates

What is S/MIME? How does it work? Do I need S/MIME?