Different Kinds of SSL Certificates Explained

Since their inception, SSL certificates have quickly grown in popularity. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case. Companies and organizations use these certificates because they wish to establish trust with their customers and show that they are legitimate. SSL is also used for confidentiality purposes. Keeping information confidential and secure is important now more than ever with the increasing number of cyber-attacks that have been occurring. Because SSL is so widely used, a number of different types of certificates have emerged.

Extended Validation SSL Certificate

If an individual decides to purchase an extended validation (EV) certificate, the issuing authority will check to see if he or she actually has the right to use that domain. A background check will also be made in order to see if the individual and his or her company is in good standing with the proper authorities, and the issuing authority will verify the operational, legal and physical existence of the company or organization. The paperwork process is quite extensive, and the cost to purchase this sort of certificate is stiff. Nevertheless, the EV certificate offers the most trust and security, hence the reason so many companies and organizations choose to purchase it. When site visitors click on a website that has an EV certificate, a green URL bar, usually showing the company’s name next to a lock, will be displayed to demonstrate that the company or organization is reliable and trustworthy.

Organization Validated Certificates

Organization validated (OV) certificates are a step down from the EV certificates. OV certificates still require the issuing authority to check to see if the individual has the right to use the domain name that is mentioned in the certificate. Background checks are also done; however, they are not quite as extensive as with the EV certificate. The costs associated with this type of certificate are a bit less expensive, and the paperwork process is not as extensive.

Domain Validation SSL

The domain validated certificate is the least invasive. This type of certificate does not require any extensive background checks or paperwork. All that is required is that the issuing authority makes contact with the purchaser to see if the certificate is actually wanted. If the purchaser has given consent to buying the certificate, it is then issued. Contact is usually made by email or phone. The domain validated certificate is appealing to small business owners because it can be obtain at a minimal cost and are issued almost instantly. The drawbacks to this certificate are that it provides the lowest level of security and some site visitors may not trust companies that purchase it.

Scalable SSL Certificate

The scalable SSL certificate is one that will allow the encryption strength to be scaled according to what the browser can support. This type of certificate is helpful for companies who wish to make their website accessible to everyone with the least amount of hassle. Some certificates are not compatible with older browsers, thus site visitors will receive a message that states they will need to upgrade their browsers before viewing and interacting with the site. To some, the task of upgrading the browser will seem as a deterrent, thus these visitors will go elsewhere to purchase products and services. Scalable SSL certificates will allow visitors to view the site, no matter which browser they have. Scalable SSL certificates can provide top level security, just the same as an EV certificate. And as far as costs are concerned, this certificate falls within the medium range.

The type of SSL certificate that a company will choose all depends on what is preferred. If the company is small and is not working with much of a budget, then the business owner may choose a lower end certificate. If cost is no matter and the company owner wishes to establish optimal trust with site visitors, then he or she will opt for an EV certificate.

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