Data Sheet

SSL Buyer’s Guide

Everything you need to know to choose the right certificate for your website

Almost every website involves some exchange of information, from login details for an online application to contact info on a landing page. Consumers today are likely to leave a website unless they feel confident that their information is secure. Use this guide to help you select an SSL option for your business.

There are three levels of authentication.

Each certificate differs in the extent of company information vetting involved and how much visitor trust they command.

 

Type of Certificate Validation Benefits Use Cases
Level 1
DOMAIN VALIDATION (DV)
Good Provides encryption to keep the transfer of personal and confidential information secure, while also satisfying recent changes in browser encryption trends. DV certificates verify the domain ownership only, and thus are issued very quickly. Great for sites where authentication is less important and there is a need for encryption, including blogs, pages where information may be requested, intranets and test or development servers.
Level 2
ORGANIZATION VALIDATION (OV)
Better Provides encryption to keep the transfer of personal and confidential information secure, while also satisfying recent changes in browser encryption trends. DV certificates verify the domain ownership only, and thus are issued very quickly. A good option for public-facing websites that collect personal information such as login details, payment data and national identifiers, among others.
Level 3
EXTENDED VALIDATION (OV)
Best EV SSL Certificates use standard authentication protocols as mandated by the CA/Browser Forum, and provide the most rigorous authentication in the industry. In popular browsers, EV will enable the green address bar to appear, encouraging the highest level of trust amongst users. Ideal for eCommerce, banking and other sites handling sensitive information, as well as sites looking to maximize conversions and strengthen their online credibility as a brand.

Three things to consider before you buy

  1. First impressions are everything. The visual cues provided by SSL certificates can help your visitors feel that they can trust your site. That’s why choosing the right certificate is about both security and selecting the level of trust you need to gain from your customers.
  2. Your SSL provider matters. The certificate authority that issues your SSL certificate is just as important as the kind of certificate you choose. You want to be backed by a name that not only you, but also your visitors, know and trust.
  3. Compliance matters, too. EV is recommended by PCI (Payment Card Industry) for websites that handle sensitive information, such as insurance records, credit card information or personally identifiable information (PII).