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Knowledge Base

Private Key Information

Solution ID : GN080421221803
Last Modified : 10/21/2023

What is a private key?

A private key is a file that helps to enable secure connections through encryption. As the name implies, this is a file that is to be kept private and secure, a certificate authority (CA) such as DigiCert will not and should never have access to this file, and other access should be as limited as possible

Only administrators working to secure your website or other connections should have access to the private key.

Where is the private key located?

The private key will be located on the system or appliance the certificate signing request (CSR) was generated.

How do I install my certificate?

After creating your CSR, which generates the private key, and ordering your certificate from Digicert, you are ready to install your certificate. The easiest way to install a certificate on a Windows server is to then use our DigiCert SSL Utility to import your certificate. This will bind the certificate to the private key so it can be used on that machine within services such as IIS or Exchange.

You can also export your certificate as a PFX or as separate certificate and key files using the utility, and use the relevant files wherever you need.

Note:pfx or p12 file is in PCKS12 format, which includes your certificate and private key and will be password protected and should only be shared with those who need it. ( See: What is a private key?)

We also have many installation guides for various servers and platforms.