After reading our previous post, “What You Need to Know about the HTTPS Green Padlock“, you understand the importance of going the extra mile to secure your website with an SSL certificate from a reputable source. Your business and your clients deserve no less.

However, you also need to take steps to ensure that visitors actually trust your website, and this requires that you understand different SSL certificate types so you can choose the appropriate level of security.

What are the different types of SSL Certificates Available?

All SSL certificates are used to encrypt and protect data, and while they do it in similar ways and for similar purposes, you should know that there are a few different types that can serve you in different ways.

Domain Validated SSL/TLS Certs
  • Domain validation SSL, or DV SSL, is the most common of SSL certificate types, relying only on domain name for verification to provide encryption only. As mentioned in our previous post, “What You Need to Know about the HTTPS Green Padlock”, Let’s Encrypt has made it easy to get such certificates without any checks for trademarks, blacklists, or revocations, spurring cyber criminals to promote fraudulent sites as safe, secure, and legitimate.
Organization Validated SSL/TLS Certs
  • Organization validation SSL, or OV SSL, is a step above DV SSL. Rather than simply using domain name for verification, this SSL type adds an extra layer of protection that requires the Certificate Authority (CA) to verify the organization by legally registered name. This, in turn, increases trust by further ensuring a website and the company behind it are authentic.
  • Extended validation SSL, or EV SSL, provides even greater security because it requires additional information for verification. In order to verify an EV SSL certificate, all Certificate Authorities must verify the physical, operational, and legal existence of an organization, as well as the organization’s employee ordering the certificate, providing the highest level of verification and trust. The organization’s legal name is then displayed in the browser URL bar next to the domain name.

While you might wonder why anyone would fall back on DV SSL or OV SSL when EV SSL is clearly superior and provides the highest level of trust, you should know that the more secure your SSL certificate, the harder it is to obtain and maintain, and the more it will cost you. You need to carefully consider these different SSL certificate types before choosing the one that’s right for your business.

How do I know what type I should use?

With the boom in fraudulent DV SSL certificates, valid businesses really need to up the game in order to protect themselves and earn the trust of valued customers. In other words, you really can’t afford to continue relying solely on DV SSL.

Both OV SSL and EV SSL provide the further protections needed to assuage customer concerns and prove authenticity. Although EV SSL is obviously preferable from a security and browser trust standpoint, you need to assess potential risks and determine if your organization really needs it and if you have the budget to devote to this level of protection.

For professional assistance in assessing the potential risks and appropriate protection needed for your business, contact us for a consultation.