How to install a digital certificate on Android (and how to use it)

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A digital certificate allows confirm the identity of a person on the Internet. In general, the process to obtain a digital certificate consists of an online application and a validation of our identity in person. Once our data is verified, a valid digital certificate is issued confirming who we really are. Actually, it is a file like any other, installable on all modern devices, regardless of whether they have a desktop or mobile operating system, as is the case with Android. Being a file, they have their own extension, the most common being PFX, CER, CRT or P12.

Digital certificates are used to carry out procedures through the Internet in the different administrations of a country, whether national, regional or local. Therefore, to get one, you have to go to official bodies. In the case of Spain, the most widely used state-level certificate is that of the National Mint and Stamp Factory. If, finally, you opt for it, you must install, prior to yours, a root certificate, in the event that your device does not have it. To check if it is already installed in your terminal go to Security, in the settings application of your terminal.

Security settingsSecurity settings

Opens Encryption & credentials and then, Trusted credentials.

Verified credentialsVerified credentials

In the list, locate the certificate FNMT-RCM.

Root certificate on AndroidRoot certificate on Android

If it is not available, enter the official website of the FNMT and, in its download section, click on Download Root AC.

Download root certificate of the FNMTDownload root certificate of the FNMT

The installation of the certificate will start automatically, just by clicking on the link. Give it a name, writing in the text field that you will find under the sentence Certificate name. Then tap on okay to continue.

Install root certificateInstall root certificate

Now, it is time to install and use your personal certificate from the National Currency and Stamp Factory in your terminal. However, this is not the only administration that issues this type of identification. In any case, the obtaining process may vary depending on the country where you live. To obtain a digital certificate, look for the organization in your place of residence in charge of this matter.

How to install and use a digital certificate on my terminal

Once you have the digital certificate, you must download it into the phone memory. To carry out this guide we have used a digital certificate in PFX format. You just have to locate it and click on it.

Open certificateOpen certificate

Enter the password to extract the certificate. This number should only be known by you and will be provided by the issuer of the certificate. In our case, it was enough to enter the DNI number.

Certificate passwordCertificate password

In the next window, click on Okay to confirm the installation.

Install certificateInstall certificate

After doing this, the digital certificate will already be installed. How can you use it? Among other things, the digital certificate serves to identify you in the private areas of the website of a government and other similar bodies. Thanks to this, it is possible to carry out procedures remotely, with a real identity, no need to move. Therefore, to use the certificate that you just installed, you just have to go to the official website of your administration and log in.

Private area of ​​an administrationPrivate area of ​​an administration

When logging in, select an option similar to the one you see in the following image. Remember that the method may vary depending on the organism.

Login with digital certificateLogin with digital certificate

In the next pop-up message, choose the certificate that you installed in the previous steps. Press Select to continue. Keep in mind that you must select the correct certificate, if more than one is installed.

Select certificateSelect certificate

Once this is done, you will have identified yourself correctly.

Correct access to private areaCorrect access to private area

How to remove the digital certificate from my Android device

We recommend that you keep your certificate in a safe place. If this file ends up in the wrong hands, anyone can impersonate your identity and carry out paperwork on your behalf. Therefore, have at your disposal a backup copy of your digital certificate in a safe place. In the event that you are not going to use it for a season, you can uninstall it from your device. Do it in the settings, opening the section Security and locating option Encryption & credentials.

Android encryption and credentialsAndroid encryption and credentials

Choose User credentials.

User credentialsUser credentials

Finally, click on the certificate you want to delete and tap on Remove.

Delete digital certificate on AndroidDelete digital certificate on Android