Digital Signatures

dasadler
5StarLounger
Posts: 889
Joined: 25 Jan 2010, 16:26
Location: Garden Grove, CA 92844 USA

Digital Signatures

Post by dasadler »

Several times now I have been frustrated to spend time developing and testing macros only to find macros disabled because they lack a digital signature. In reading up about this, I always run into a list of certification members (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms995347" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) who, I think either issue or sell digital signatures. When I went to one of them (godaddy.com), I could find nothing about digital signatures so I don't know what that list was supposed to mean.

Anyway, point is, I hate telling my apps to disregard all macro security just so my macros will run AND I would like to be able to share macros with friends and family without all this security stuff getting in the way.

I find this entire digital signature business very confusing. Can anyone explain it and explain how to get a digital signature, what's involved, how do you use it once you have it, and what it costs?

Or - if you know a good tutorial that would be helpful, please share.
Don

User avatar
HansV
Administrator
Posts: 77302
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 00:14
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

Re: Digital Signatures

Post by HansV »

If you're using Office 2007, it's best to set up some folders as trusted locations, and store documents/workbooks etc. with macros in those folders. Tell others using your macros to do the same. Macros will automatically be enabled.

For earlier versions, tell users not to set macro security to (very) high. Medium is sufficient.

For personal use, you can create your own digital certificate using SelfCert.exe to avoid the enable macros prompt. This will only be valid for your PC though.

Commercial digital certificates are pricey - the cheapest I could find are Comodo (US$167/year) and GoDaddy (US$200/year).
Regards,
Hans

dasadler
5StarLounger
Posts: 889
Joined: 25 Jan 2010, 16:26
Location: Garden Grove, CA 92844 USA

Re: Digital Signatures

Post by dasadler »

Thanks for the information Hans. I certainly don't want to pay for a digital certificate - at least not that much.

I most recently encountered this when making the template macros with which you helped (http://eileenslounge.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1555" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). The only way I could see to avoid this in Outlook was to enable all macros but that seems risky. Honestly, though, I 'm not at all sure it is risky since I would never tun a macro without looking at it and trying to understand what it does.

Does enabling all macros present a risk? Is it possible for me to receive an email and for it to execute code or macro when opened?
Don

User avatar
HansV
Administrator
Posts: 77302
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 00:14
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

Re: Digital Signatures

Post by HansV »

Macro viruses have become very rare, the focus of malware writers has shifted elsewhere. As long as your antivirus software is up-to-date and active, there's little risk in allowing macros.
Regards,
Hans

User avatar
Jan Karel Pieterse
Microsoft MVP
Posts: 652
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 17:51
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Weert, The Netherlands

Re: Digital Signatures

Post by Jan Karel Pieterse »

A macro can run automatically, for example when you open the file. See this page how to prevent that from happening when you enable macros.
Regards,

Jan Karel Pieterse
Excel MVP jkp-ads.com

dasadler
5StarLounger
Posts: 889
Joined: 25 Jan 2010, 16:26
Location: Garden Grove, CA 92844 USA

Re: Digital Signatures

Post by dasadler »

Thanks Jan Karel - useful info.
Don