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In this guide, we will look a little further into the various types of SSL certificates available, each offering distinct levels of certification and validation from Certificate Authorities (CAs).

SSL certificates (Secure Socket Layer) are digital certificates that authenticate a website’s identity and allow an encrypted connection between web browsers and servers. SSL certificates play a pivotal role in enhancing website security and credibility by helping to secure data exchanges and protecting sensitive information.

The different types of SSL Certificates:

The types of SSL Certificates most commonly known are: SSL Certificates are: DV SSL Certificates, OV SSL Certificates, EV SSL Certificates and Wildcard SSL Certificates.

Other lesser known SSL Certificate types, are; CS SSL Certificates, SAN SSL Certificates, SGC SSL Certificates and SS SSL Certificates.

Additional Information:

Identifying an SSL Secured Website

You can easily identify a website that has an SSL certificate by going to your Internet browser’s search bar and looking for the padlock icon on the left hand side, and / or the “https://” acronym in the domain name URL. If the padlock icon doesn’t appear or is open or the domain name reads “http://” it means the site is not secure.

You can always view a site’s SSL Certificate by clicking on the padlock icon itself. The details of the SSL Certificate can help you verify the website’s identity, and dependent on the type of SSL Certificate, the owner’s details as well, thus ensuring that your connection and interaction with the website will be encrypted.

Red our blog for a more in-depth information on what SSL certificates are and how they work.

Types of SSL Certificates

Types of SSL Certificates that encrypt websites

Below are the main types of SSL Certificates, their descriptions, and the types of websites they are best suited for:

Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificate

A DV SSL Certificate is the most basic certificate for securing websites and is usually the least expensive. A DV SSL certificate verifies the authenticity of the domain name. While it provides encryption, it does not confirm the ownership of the domain. The validation process is simple, which means they can be issued quickly making them ideal for small websites and blogs.

Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificate

An OV SSL Certificate is preferred for e-commerce websites and websites that handle sensitive information such as login credentials, personal data, and financial transactions. It not only encrypts data but also validates the actual business behind the website. The company’s details are displayed on the certificate, instilling confidence in visitors. Issuance takes longer due to the verification of company documentation by the CA.

Extended Validated (EV) SSL Certificate

The EV SSL Certificate offers the highest level of security. It verifies the domain name, the organization behind the website, and the legal existence of the organization. Websites with EV SSL Certificates are identified by a green URL address bar in the browser. Obtaining an EV SSL involves thorough validation of company ownership and domain name ownership. The meticulous verification process ensures utmost authenticity and trustworthiness. Multinational corporations, banking websites, and government websites most commonly use EV SSL certificates.

Wildcard Certificate

Wildcard SSL Certificates are versatile and are used for websites with multiple sub-domains and are a simple and cost-effective way to manage your site’s security certifications. Subdomains are prefixes to your main domain name, like “store.example.com”. Wildcard SSLs can be issued for both DV and OV SSLs, making them a practical choice for businesses with numerous subdomains covering various aspects or departments of their online business.

Other Types of SSL Certificates

Beyond the primary categories mentioned above, there are specialized SSL certificates:

CS (Code Signing)

Ensures the authenticity of software code by verifying the publisher’s identity.

SAN (Subject Alternative Name)

Allows securing multiple domain names with a single certificate.

SGC (Server-Gated Cryptography)

Upgrades encryption on older browsers to maintain security.

SS (Self-Signed)

Used for internal purposes but lacks third-party validation.

In Conclusion

Bearing in mind that SSL Certificates play a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive client data and establishing your website’s credibility in the digital world, it is important to select the right SSL certificate for ensuring your website’s security and creating user trust. Whether you require DV, OV, or the pinnacle of security with EV certificates, each type offers distinct benefits.

If you are not sure what type of SSL Certificate you need for your business, please contact our Support Team and they will help you find the right one.

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