What are credentials?

Credentials refer to:

  • Certificates — These identify a person or company that owns a device, app, website, etc. The certificate includes the public key used to encrypt data, and the signature of the authority that issued the certificate, so that the receiver can verify that the certificate is valid.
  • Private Keys — These are used to decrypt received data, for example, the signature on a certificate or private data received over a VPN.

Credentials need to be kept secret to prevent malicious parties from stealing identities and hijacking sensitive data.