In digital business, the level of security is highly dependent on applying due care and diligence and on the storage media on which the digital certificate holder stores their private key. At the moment, the highest security is provided by smart cards / USB keys since the private signature key never leaves them and the encryption and digital signing are done on the smart cards / USB keys themselves.
However, a smart card / USB key can only provide a high level of security when accessing your electronic bank or other applications when it is used with due care and diligence. It is essential that you follow the following instructions for safe use:
- Keep the smart card / USB key with your qualified digital certificate in the card reader or computer only when actually using a program that requires a digital certificate.
- Before use, always check that the program or e-banking website is authentic. Never use your smart card / USB key or enter any passwords or PIN numbers on websites that you do not trust.
- After use, close the program or browser immediately, remove the smart card / USB key from your computer and store them safely.
- Shut down the computer on which you use the smart card / USB key with the digital certificate when not using it (outside working hours, holidays, etc.).
- Store the PIN of your smart card / USB key with the qualified digital certificate with the same level of care as for your bank card’s PIN. Never lend it to anyone.
- Do not store your smart card / USB key together with the PIN.
- Regularly change the PIN of the smart card / USB key.
IN ADDITION TO THESE ESSENTIAL SAFETY HABITS, WE ADVISE THAT YOU CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR USERS OF THE CA QUALIFIED DIGITAL CERTIFICATE:
- Use only sufficiently long and complex passwords that are difficult to guess (at least 8 characters long, 15 characters is recommended; include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and spaces). Never use the same password for e-banking and e-mail. Never use your e-banking or e-mail password for less secure sites (online networks, other websites).
- Real electronic service providers (banks, large retailers, the government) usually do not use e-mail to distribute software or send password change requests… Messages like that are always sent within the e-banking platform or other applications. If you receive a similar e-mail, you should always consider it to be forged, as a precautionary measure.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions (Apple, Google, Microsoft) and make sure that your have installed on your computer (i) the latest security updates, (ii) appropriate antivirus software and turned on (iii) the firewall.
- Do not open e-mails or attachments from unknown senders. Do not open e-mails or attachments with unusual content, even if sent from a seemingly known source.
- Do not install software from unverified sources.
- Avoid clicking or confirming in advertising banners and windows (“OK”, “Permit”, “Approve”, “I agree”, “I allow”). Be careful with any free offers.
- Be very careful when using portable storage media (USB flash drives).
Among the many antivirus software providers, there are a few in alphabetical order:
Most of these products are sold in computer equipment stores.
Additional information on individual manufacturers and their products, as well as the basic principles of computer security and protection measures and anti-virus protection, can be found on their websites. Most manufacturers also offer free trial (demo) versions, but they have limited usability and some features are limited. They are perfect only for purchased products!
Additional information is also available on Microsoft websites and various computer magazines https://www.virusbulletin.com/, http://www.infoworld.com/, https://www.techrepublic.com/ which are dealing with computer antivirus programs and security measures.
Report any suspected loss, defect, improper use, or theft of computer or qualified digital certificate to Halcom CA as soon as possible. Report any suspected improper use, or theft to law enforcement authorities.