Knowledgebase: Dedicated SSL
DV OV and EV Certificates

All SSL certificates use similar methods to protect and secure your data.  There are important variations, and the key difference is the validation method. Certificate are verified by the issuing Certificate Authority (or CA) to ensure that it is covering the correct, authorized site. This verification confirms at a minimum control of the domain. There are some additional steps that can be taken to also confirm the existence of the requesting company or organization (for OV certificates) or to establish even more trust through extended vetting (for EV certificates).

DV Certificates

Domain validated or DV certificates are the most common type of SSL certificate. They are verified using only the domain name. Typically, the CA exchanges confirmation email with an address listed in the domain’s WHOIS record. Alternatively, the CA provides a verification file which the owner places on the website to be protected. Either method confirms that the domain is controlled by the party requesting the certificate.

OV Certificates

Organization validated or OV certificates require more validation than DV certificates, but provide more trust. For this type, the CA will verify the actual business that is attempting to get the certificate (the information required for OV certificates). The organization’s name is also listed in the certificate, giving added trust that both the website and the company are reputable. OVs are usually used by corporations, governments and other entities that want to provide an extra layer of confidence to their visitors.

EV Certificates

EV SSL Certificate
The EV certificate “Green Bar” appears slightly different in various browsers, but in all cases adds some green, and also displays the companies business name.

Extended validation
or EV certificates provide the maximum amount of trust to visitors, and also require the most effort by the CA to validate. Per guidelines set by the CA/Browser Forum, extra documentation must be provided to issue an EV certificate (as described in EV SSL Requirements). As in the OV, the EV lists the company name in the certificate itself, However, a fully validated EV certificate will also show the name of the company or organization in the address bar itself, and the address bar is displayed in green. This is an immediate, visual way that viewers can know that extra steps were taken to confirm the site they’re visiting – which is why most large companies and organizations choose EV certificates.

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