What’s a digital signature and why doesn’t EclipseCrossword have one?
Files, including programs like EclipseCrossword, can be “digitally signed” to prove (to a reasonable degree of certainty) that they haven’t been altered from their original versions. A lot of software on the internet is signed. However, most free software not backed by a large corporation is not. EclipseCrossword, and other Green Eclipse products, are not currently signed, and that’s why it shows up in some places as coming from an “unknown publisher.” (The exception is the version of EclipseCrossword available from the Microsoft Store, which is signed and verified by Microsoft.)
The reason for this is that the process of obtaining a digital signature is fairly complicated and expensive. Since EclipseCrossword is free, we don’t have any source of revenue to offset the significant costs of signing our files.
A digital signature gives you the assurance that a file hasn’t been changed by a malicious person. It can’t prove that it’s safe. (If you’re worried that EclipseCrossword isn’t safe, try a web search for “EclipseCrossword.” It’s been downloaded over six million times! EclipseCrossword has also been given a clean bill of health from Softpedia.) A signature just says that “this file came from this company, and hasn’t been changed by anyone else.” You can get the same assurance that it hasn’t been changed by simply downloading it from here—the official website—instead of a different site.