Friday, April 3, 2015

Digital Certificates to Stop Fake Degrees

Thomas (Tom) Worthington's Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from the Australian National University (ANU) 19 July 2013. Please note that the signatures and some other details have been obscured for security
Media reports indicate that sophisticated fakes are being sold of Australian university degrees, complete with university seals. There is no easy way to make an unforgeable paper document. A much more secure approach is to issue certified digital documents, as ANU now does. Shown is my my ANU Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (at low resolution and with the signatures blurred, so as not to help the forgers).

The ANU certificates are distributed through  the Digitary service, which was a spin-off of Dublin City University. Instead of providing a certified paper copy or a scan of it, students can provide a hypertext link to the document in the on-line service. Copies printed from the service have instructions on them of how to verify the details.

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