What makes Estonian eID card secure?

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Everyone’s eID card contains private and public keys, which are essentially very long strings of random characters, and a certificate of the national public key infrastructure, which ties the public key to the owner of the card.

If a person logs into an online bank or other eService, the first “handshake” between the two computers is encrypted with the public key. Once the user enters his or her PIN, a secure connection is established.

It operates under the principle of two-factor authentication: boosting security pairing something you have (the card) with something you know (the PIN).

If the user forgets his or her PIN, all they need to do is apply at a police office or bank, and they will send a new PIN securely to your card – no reissuing needed.

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