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What Are the Various Types of SSL Certificates?

July 16, 2012 James Labonte

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates provide two internet users an assurance that the connection they use is secure by encrypting the data transmitted. When the URL changes from http to https and a padlock appears in the browser’s address bar, this indicates a secure connection. This change assures users that some level of encryption exists between the computers. Three distinct types of SSL Certificates offer various advantages for those wanting to guarantee secure internet access.

The Domain Validated (DV) certificates offers the lowest level of SSL security. The certificate authenticator verifies that the information about the applicant and the information regarding the registered owner of the domain name are the same. The organization issuing the certificate does not investigate the legitimacy of the applicant’s business or verify contact information. Users cannot guarantee that credit card information, bank account numbers or other data remains secure and private.

Organizationally Validated (OV) certificates provide the medium level of security between businesses and customers. Businesses applying for the OV SSL certificate must provide verifiable information regarding legitimacy, such as physical and web addresses, additional contact information and Articles of Incorporation or other organizational documentation. Individuals transmitting financial and other private information can trust the security of the receiving site.

EV SSL (Extended Validation) certificates offer the strongest SSL certification available. Individuals connecting to the site see the address bar turn green when this level of encryption is established. Only certain types of businesses and government agencies receive this level of security according to industry guidelines established in 2007. Individuals connecting to the site see a red address field when security is lost.

In a world where individuals worry about the safety of transmitted data, an SSL certificate provides a level of trust. Customers know their medical, credit card and banking information is secure. This certification helps businesses grow.

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