Personal Information Exchange File
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What is a P12 file?
A P12 file contains a digital certificate that uses PKCS#12 (Public Key Cryptography Standard #12) encryption. It is used as a portable format for transferring personal private keys and other sensitive information. P12 files are used by various security and encryption programs.
P12 keys store a private key that encrypts information in such a way that it can be decrypted only by the corresponding public key. Likewise, data encrypted with the public key can be decrypted only by the private key. This helps validate the source of transmitted information.
How to open a P12 file
To install a p12 key on a Windows or Mac PC, simply double-click the file. The Certificate Import Wizard (Windows) or Add Certificates Wizard (Mac) will appear to guide you through installing the key.
You can view the contents of a p12 key by installing OpenSSL, an open-source cryptography toolkit, and entering the command openssl pkcs12 -info -nodes -in yourfilename.p12 at your PC's command line.