What are SSL Certificates?
Secure Sockets Layer certifications (SSL) are small data encryption packages which bind an organisation’s geographical and business information to a digitally cryptographic key. To the layman, this means that data sent to and from your servers is encrypted and certified as belonging to your organisation. Once applied, SSL certification allows your server to communicate securely with computers around the globe. In this way, they also serve as stamps of dependability.
Different Types of Certificates
There are three different types of SSL certification available to purchase from trusted vendors, and each offers a different set of functions and security features depending on the needs of your webpage. It’s important to identify those needs and which product suits them best.
Extended Validation (EV) is one of the most secure and thorough validation protocols available on the market. With Extended Validation Certificates the Certificate Authority (CA) checks the validity of the domain name, as well as conducting a thorough vetting of the organisation purchasing the certificate. Certification under EV guidelines is administered on a strict basis, with only the most reliable and trustworthy of sites boasting EV certificates. As a result, it’s also one of the most expensive. Certificate Authorities are trusted organisations which operate a hierarchy of web-pages, building networks or dependable pages and organisations which are applied by Microsoft, Google, and Apple into their browser’s Root Stores. When verifying a company, the CA will check the legal, physical, and operational existence of the organisation.
Organisational Validation (OV) certification is the next step down in both cost and severity; the CA in this instance will again check the rights of the applicant to use the requested domain name, while also conducting some organisational vetting. Purchasers are provided with a Secure Site Seal, allowing users to see that the page they’re visiting is a trusted member of a CA network.
Domain Validation (DV) is the simplest and least expensive way of achieving SSL certification, and quick certification like the Geotrust QuickSSL premium certificate is a rapid way of getting your right to use a domain certified. Company identities and operational information are not vetted with Domain Validation, meaning you can get your site running and certified immediately. Domain Validation can be issued almost immediately, and most browsers will also start demonstrating visual cues of your site’s trustworthiness straight away.
Choosing the Right Type for You
Choosing between the three forms of SSL certification are a matter of identifying the needs of your website or business, and paying accordingly. If you’re running an international business and processing lots of credit card information, then you’re going to want to opt for the high-cost, high-reward Extended Validation. If you’re interested in thorough security without having to compromise your time and overheads, Organisational SSL is perfect for you; it’s a decent compromise between cost and efficiency. If however what you’re after is rapid certification for you web-page without having to pay out, or lose too much time following validation procedures, then go for simple, secure Domain SSL.