All the tips/hints/fixes/other information posted here are at your own risk. Some of the steps here could result in damage to your computer. For example, using a Windows registry editor like RegEdit could result in unintended serious changes that may be difficult or impossible to reverse. Backups are always encouraged.

02 September 2007

Certificate Issuers Might Have Weird 'Friendly Names'

I had to specify a wireless network logon using certificate validation by Equifax Secure Certificate Authority. The certificate issuer, however, was not in the drop-down list in my wireless network utility (ThinkVantage Access Connections). I found out that the so-called Friendly Name for the certificate became "GeoTrust", who acquired certificates from Equifax, when Windows Update updated the root certificates on the computer. To make matters more confusing, there was another certificate with the friendly name "GeoTrust": GeoTrust Primary Certification Authority, yet this proper name distinction did not appear in the list, because only the Friendly Names were listed in my wireless utility. (Not so friendly, if you ask me!) Compounding the confusion are other certificates with similar names to the one I needed: Equifax Secure eBusiness CA-1 and Equifax Secure eBusiness CA-2.

To be sure that I wasn't selecting the wrong "GeoTrust" certificate in the drop-down list, I edited the Friendly Name back to its proper name, "Equifax Secure Certificate Authority." You can view and manage the root certificates on your computer by going to Internet Options in Internet Explorer or the Control Panel. Click the Content tab and then Certificates. Find your desired certificate under the Trusted Root Certification Authorities tab and click View and then the Details tab. Select the Friendly Name field and click Edit Properties. There you can change the Friendly Name.

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