The 3 Types of SSL Certificate Validation

March 5th, 2012 @ 11:23 am

We covered the basics of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption and certificates in a previous post, but if you’ve done some shopping around for an SSL certificate for your site you have probably noticed that SSL comes in a few different types. If you want to make an educated decision and buy the right plan for your site, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with the differences between them.

Keep in mind that enabling an SSL certificate of any type will encrypt data transmissions between users and the server using public and private keys, and they will also load the https:// prefix. It is widely used by businesses, especially for ecommerce and payment due to the added layer of security, it’s highly recommended for anyone who considers their visitors customers. The different types or levels of validation are in place to classify websites based on their status as a legitimate business and the security of the site. Here’s an overview of each type of SSL validation and what types of sites they are used for.

Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates

This is the most basic level of SSL validation, the issuer verifies that you are the owner of the domain by checking your information against the WHOIS database. While this will enable encryption on your site and provide a decent amount of added security, it does not verify you as the operator of a legitimate business. This a great quick solution if you want your users to feel safer seeing the familiar padlock and https:// and not running into any warning screens, but an organizationally validated certificate is recommended for transmitting sensitive information.

Organizationally Validated (OV) SSL Certificates

An organizationally validated SSL certificate is designed for businesses and is especially beneficial to ecommerce, sales, and service providers who need to transmit sensitive data on their server such as credit card numbers and contact information. The process for validation is lengthier and more in-depth, the issuer will not only check to see if you are the owner of the domain, they will also need to verify that you are the owner of a real business. To do this you’ll need to provide the credentials and paperwork verifying the legitimacy of your business and your status as its owner (specifically your Articles of Incorporation), as well as proof of your physical address. One of the main advantages to getting an organization validation is that your site will be displayed in the browser as a trusted site and users will feel far more confident doing business with you.

Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates

Extended validation was released in 2007 and it is the most complete SSL encryption solution to date, the most reputable and trustworthy organizations make use of EV. The validation process is more thorough, only businesses that have been proven to be consistently reliable with quality services or products are given extended validation. The most obvious perk is the green URL bar that signifies to users that they are visiting a website associated with a verified reputable business and that the website has been proven to be safe and secure. This is a far more prominent indicator than other validations and users absolutely take notice.

So how do I get one?

If you are looking to get an SSL certificate for your website, we offer plans for each of the above validation types with tons of great features, check out our SSL Certificate packages to see which one is best for you.

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