What is an SSL certificate?

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a data security tool that was designed to keep communication over the internet safe. Data sent via an SSL connection is protected by a mechanism called encryption that scrambles the data in transit to prevent theft and tampering. All SSL provides the same encryption, however, mechanisms of obtaining a certificate vary by type i.e. validation type.

Different Types of SSL

  • Domain Validation SSL (DV)
  • Extended Validation SSL (EV)
  • Organization Validation SSL (OV)

Difference between types

  • Domain Validation SSL (DV)
    DV SSL is considered to be of low assurance and is the easiest to get—all you need to confirm is that you own the domain you apply for the SSL with. This validation method is secure enough, however, if someone obtains control over a domain they don’t own, (i.e. email access, FTP access, or DNS access), SSL could be issued to the wrong person. Great for personal users, Facebook apps, or login pages.
  • Extended Validation SSL (EV)
    EV SSL is the most hacker-proof cert in the industry and thus is considered the most trusted. For you to obtain EVs, the company’s legal existence, operation history, and physical existence must be confirmed. All these verified details are displayed in the certificate details in the address bar in browsers to indicate your business name and existence legitimacy. These kinds of certs are impossible to fake, that’s why they get “very high assurance” grades.
  • Organization Validation SSL (OV)
    OV SSL also requires organization legal existence confirmation, however, the organization validation process requires fewer steps, i.e. it doesn’t matter how long a company operates, certificate authority doesn’t verify the person who applies for OV on behalf of a company, nor legal address is verified via public sources. The details of a verified company are shown in the certificate details.

What to choose?

OV and EV are recommended for businesses and DV — for individuals. EV and OV SSL certificates are especially recommended for e-commerce sites as building confidence among customers and forming a trustworthy reputation around the site and brand is essential for such a type of business.

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