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What is a Digital ID?

When traveling internationally, a passport adds a layer of security by providing a means of positively identifying a person's identity. Similarly, a digital certificate or Digital ID issued by a third party, Certification Authority (CA), such as VeriSign and GeoTrust, serves the same purpose.  For more information see VeriSign's User Guide by clicking here.

How does a Digital ID add more security?

A password is required to access a digital id's private key to apply a digital signature to a document.  Only the owner of the Digital ID should know this password.  Secondly, if a digitally signed document has been altered in anyway, a warning will be clearly visible.

When opening the file a banner at the top says "At least one signature has problems" and/or does the signature properties field say “Signature validity is unknown” ?

For security purposes, by default, Adobe automatically does not trust anyone.  Upon closer inspection of the signature details, you will see a message saying “Signer’s identity is unknown because it has not been included in your list of trusted identities and none of its parent certificates are trusted identities.”

How do I fix the banner saying "At least one signature has problems." and/or get the signature properties field to say “Signature is valid”?

There are two options available.  The first option is the preferred because it will only be needed to be done once. 

1.   The parent certificate can be added to the list of trusted identities.  By default your Internet browser (Internet Explorer or Firefox) have certificates issued by many reputable authorities including Microsoft, VeriSign, GeoTrust, etc., which are automatically deemed as “trusted”.  If one of these companies (parent) issues a certificate to a person or company (child) they may also be trusted.

2.   The receiver can use the document to load the signer’s certificate can be added individually to the list of trusted identities.  This option would have to be duplicated for each signer and on every computer the user may use.

How do I add a parent certificate as a trusted identity?

1. Open your Adobe software and select Edit on the tool bar and then select Preferences.

2.   Select Security from the left menu and then select Advanced Preferences.

3.   Select the Windows Integration tab and check the box for Validating Signature.
If you agree to trust all root certificates in the Windows Certification Store, select OK.

How do I add a signer’s identity to my list of trusted identities?

1. Click on the full size file, select the signature icon, select the signature line and then right click to bring up the short-cut menu.  Select Show Signature Properties.

2.   Select Show Certificate.

3.   Click on the Trust tab and then select Add to Trusted Identities.

4.   If you trust the identity of the signer of the document, select OK.

5. Again, if you trust the identity of the signer of the document, select OK.

If my clients do either of the solutions described in Answers #5 or #6 what will they see when opening my digitally signed transcripts?

Signed and all signatures are valid banner