Site security is one of the primary concerns for most websites. With an increase in internet usage, the number of hacking attempts, viruses and other online threats have increased too. Ever since Google announced that it would display a ‘Not Secure’ text in the address bar of Google Chrome for all websites not having an SSL certificate, there has been an increase in the number of site owners looking for them. A Certificate Authority (CA) is responsible for issuing an SSL Security Certificate and authenticating the website.
There are three types of SSL certificates available to websites:
- Domain validation
- Organization validation
- Extended validation
Each of these serves a specific purpose. Today, we are going to talk about domain and extended validation SSL certificates and highlight the differences between them.
Domain validation & Extended Validation
A Domain Validation (DV) certificate helps in validating the domain of your site. While this does not mean that the site visitor’s information will be encrypted, the user can verify the authenticity of the website. It is usually preferred by basic websites without sensitive information.
An Extended Validation (EV) certificate, on the other hand, offers the highest level of security on your website. It involves getting various documents of your business verified and usually can take days before the CA issues the certificate.
Difference between DV and EV SSL certificates
|Features||ExtendedValidationn SSL||Domain Validation SSL|
|Level of validation||Most strict||Lowest|
|Process of verification||The CA verifies all aspects of the organization including ownership, address, and other information along with the legal existence of the business||The CA verifies if the organization is the rightful owner of the domain|
|Documents needed||Site owners need to submit a list of documents to help verify their business, ownership, legal status, domain, and anything else linked to their website and business||The CA doesn’t need any documents and confirms the details via an email alone|
|Duration||Few weeks||Minutes to a few hours|
|Cost||Since multiple documents need to be verified, this SSL certificate is costlier than a DV SSL||A DV SSL certificate is cheaper than an EV SSL since minimal information needs to be verified|
|The visual indicator on the website||If a website has an EV SSL certificate installed, then it has a green address bar with the name of the organization||A site with a DV SSL certificate will have an HTTPS connection|
While you can approach a Certifying Authority to purchase an SSL certificate, many web hosting companies offer this facility too. Remember, while an EV SSL certificate has the highest level of validation, you must ensure that your website needs it before applying. If you are running a basic site like a blog or public image gallery that does not have sensitive or critical information, then a basic DV SSL certificate should suffice.
While many site owners are looking to install an SSL certificate to avoid being tagged as ‘Not Secure’ on Chrome, it is crucial to choose the right certificate so that you pay for what your site needs. An SSL certificate offers many benefits. There are free and paid options available too. Hence, research thoroughly and choose wisely. Good Luck!