I am new to the realm of security and keep hearing about "certificates" containing "keys". But no one has been able to actually explain to me what is actually meant by this.
I assume that the cryptographic key is really just a numeric/alpha-numeric identifier that can be represented in plaintext. Yes?
Furthermore, I assume that a certificate is nothing more than a plaintext file literally containing 1+ of these keys. Yes?
If my assumptions are correct, can someone just please confirm them (I think that would be enormously helpful for future newcomers who are really trying to understand the fundamentals)? And if my assumptions are incorrect or mislead, can someone please correct them for me?