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A digital signature is an electronic, encrypted, stamp of authentication on digital information such as email messages, macros, or electronic documents. A signature confirms that the information originated from the signer and has not been altered.

To create a digital signature, you need a signing certificate, which proves identity. When you send a digitally-signed macro or document, you also send your certificate and public key. Certificates are issued by a certification authority, and like a driver’s license, can be revoked. A certificate is usually valid for a year, after which, the signer must renew, or get a new, signing certificate to establish identity.

A certificate authority is an entity similar to a notary public. It issues digital certificates, signs certificates to verify their validity and tracks which certificates have been revoked or have expired.


This guide is especially aimed at the following target groups:

  • Employees
  • Employees of the university administration
  • IT responsible person of an institution
  • Secretaries


  • an active account of the University of Jena
  • Requesting person must be responsible for the function address
  • Internet connection


Do not perform these steps more than once! Only the two most recently downloaded certificates are valid.

A certificate is not exchangeable. Mails that have been encrypted by a certificate can only be decrypted by that same certificate. If you lose your previously used certificate, signatures can no longer be verified and encrypted items can no longer be decrypted. Therefore, save it on your home drive or on an encrypted USB stick. Remember your assigned password for the certificate or keep it in a safe place.

Step 1: Apply for a group certificate at the service desk of the university computer center.

Access the form at the following link:

Fill in the form and then click "Erstellen".

Your request will be checked. Once this is done, you will receive an email addressed to your function email address with a link. Open this or click on "Verify Email Address".

Step 2: Configure certificate at Sectigo

Select "3 years" for "Certificate Term*", "RSA -4096" for "Key Type*" as shown in the following picture and assign a secure password.


You will need the password assigned here for the installation of the certificate, so keep it safe.
Do not use your university account password under any circumstances.

Accept the terms of use by clicking the box and "Agree" in the dialog that appears.

Step 3: Download certificate

To have your certificate generated and downloaded automatically, click "Submit".

Click on "Download".

After that you will find your certificate in the download folder.