4 minute read

For more than 20 years, SSL certificates have been used to ensure that the sensitive data of your website’s visitors will be protected on a secure network. This is especially crucial if your website visitors are customers who are expected to enter their credit card information.

What SSL Certificates Do

SSL certificates block hackers from spying on the connection and stealing personal data from your website — research shows that not only do SSL certificates protect your customer’s data; they also help you get customers in the first place. HubSpot reports that up to 85 percent of people will not continue browsing if a site is not secure.

But if you’re in the market to add an SSL certificate to your site and make your website more secure, you may have trouble deciding which one to choose. To help make things easier, here are five types of SSL certificates explained.

Keep in mind that the five types of SSL certificates described below are also referred to as Transport Layer Security certificates, or TLS. An improved version of SSL, TLS works in the same way, using encryption to protect the transfer of data and information. We’ll call them SSL for simplicity’s sake. However, all the certificates below deliver encryption under the new TLS protocol.

1. Domain Validated Certificates

Cost-efficient and easy to obtain, Domain Validated Certificates are encryption certificates only. Used by most secure sites, Domain Validated Certificates require website owners to prove domain ownership by saving a text file in the public web root of their domain or by simply responding to an email or phone call, which can be done in minutes. Although the advantage of these types of certificates is their low cost, it’s important to note that they don’t provide the same degree of assurance regarding the ownership of the domain. Visitors who inspect the details of the certificate may not feel as comfortable making payments if this is the kind of certificate protecting them.

2. Organization Validated Certificates

Offering more reassurance than Domain Validated Certificates, Organization Validated Certificates require a business owner to verify their company’s details, prove legitimacy and display company details for website visitors to see. This SSL certificate displays the website owner’s information in the address bar and the certificate itself includes company details like city and state, which may help customers feel more comfortable, especially before making a purchase. This peace of mind comes at a higher price point than Domain Validated Certificates, but may offer a greater feeling of security for your customers.

3. Multi-Domain SSL Certificates

A Multi-Domain SSL Certificate is used to encrypt multiple domains under a single SSL certificate. Business owners can combine several different hostnames, regardless of whether they are from the same domain or not. With a Multi-domain SSL Certificate, business owners can renew across all domains, saving time and money — but there are limits, and if they need to add a domain at any time, the certificate must be reissued.

4. Wildcard SSL Certificates

For those planning on using one domain, but wanting the flexibility to have various subdomains, Wildcard SSL Certificates are worth considering. Used to secure a base domain and unlimited subdomains, a Wildcard SSL Certificate allows a business owner to add as many subdomains as desired, whenever needed, with new certificates reissued for each new subdomain. A Wildcard SSL certificate displays an asterisk * as part of its name, letting website visitors see the validity of each subdomain.

5. Extended Validation Certificates

The most secure — and, thus, most expensive — SSL certificate is easily the Extended Validation Certificate. When installed, this certificate displays the padlock, HTTPS element, name of the business and country in the browser address bar, making a solid case for the website visitor that their data is in good hands. To obtain this certificate, a business owner must endure an identity verification process to confirm they are the legal owner of the domain. Extended Validation Certificates are frequently used for websites that require the highest assurance, such as those that collect personal data and online payments. A recent study showed that the presence of an Extended Validation SSL certificate represented a 99.987% likelihood that the site is not associated with common forms of online crime.

Now that you know the differences between these common SSL certificates, find out how EasyRedir can help you with all of your SSL management needs.

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