After a digital certificate is used to sign a macro, the macro will have a digital signature attached to it.
You may know exactly what certificates, signatures, and publishers are; if not, here's a quick summary:
- A digital certificate is an electronic identity card that creates digital signatures and vouches authenticity.
- A digital signature is an electronic, encryption-based, secure stamp on a macro. The signature confirms that the macro originated from the signer and has not been altered.
- A trusted publisher is a certificate issuer whom you have chosen to trust and whose certificate details you have added to your store of trusted publishers. This could include yourself.
- An authenticated certificate is a certificate that has been issued by a certificate authority. By definition, a self-signed certificate cannot be authenticated.
To avoid seeing security warnings and to enable macros automatically, you need to add the certificates that were used to sign those macros to your list of trusted publishers.
But if anyone can install a self-signed certificate, how do you know which certificate to trust? Imagine if someone created a self-signed certificate with your name on it — how would you know to avoid it? The answer is that you need to verify the certificate. Learn how this works next.