Moving from HTTP to HTTPS - 2 - SSL Certificates

Moving from HTTP to HTTPS 2: SSL Certificates and their suitability

SSL certificates help secure data in transit against attacks. Regardless of their types or issuing agency, all SSL certificates encrypt submitted data – decrypting it only upon reaching its recipient. While this basic functionality remains the same for all types of SSL certificates, there are some key differences in suitability and limitations. Let us explore these differences in detail as you continue your move from HTTP to HTTPS.

DV (Domain-validated) Certificate

DV (Domain-validated) Certificate - Plesk

DV or domain validate certificate is the most basic level of certification. It simply helps you demonstrate that you’re the submitted domain owner, while requesting the SSL certificate.

A DV certificate is ideal for internal communications, to maintain test domains and servers, and internal sites. Rarely, it may also be suitable for small businesses with a brochure website.

DV Certificate Limitations

  1. DV doesn’t mention the company name that owns and operates the domain. Hence, it doesn’t verify the domain is owned by a trusted, official, legal entity. This can discourage shoppers or potential partners from sharing their personal info while performing online transactions on your site.
  2. Sharing data over a secured network with an unidentified/unverified recipient isn’t wise. A hacker can purchase a fraudulent similar sounding domain name and its SSL certificate (like Mikrosoft.com or Jumla.com). This just to trick visitors into sharing sensitive data which they will later misuse.

OV Certificate

OV Certificate - Plesk

You get an OV certificate after a detailed verification process. Because it displays more comprehensive domain information, thus verifying that the legal corporate entity that owns it is authentic.

An OV Certificate is suitable if you’re running a commercial website or blog that requires clients to login using an ID/password. Or for educational institutes that require students/teachers to login and check reports/attendance and other non-interactive activities. An OV may also suit local community websites and small business websites that don’t involve sales or sharing of payment details.

OV Certificate Limitations

  1. Real human interaction like the telephonic call is generally involved at multiple levels that enhance the trust level.
  2. Trusted real-world sources are checked to cross-verify the corporate nature of the business requesting it. In most of the cases, it also involves the submission of business documents.

EV (Extended Validation) Certificate

EV (Extended Validation) Certificate - Plesk

EV certificates almost eliminates any phishing possibilities because of its strict configuration, reinforcing failsafe security at multiple levels. However, an EV requires the most stringent verification process. Your organization can have one issued only after it can successfully pass all verification steps. Namely, physical existence, current legal/operational status, exclusive domain ownership and controlling rights of the commercial entity.

EV Certificate Suitability

  1. The EV certificate is perfect for online stores that need customer personal and payment information. Including contact address and phone number.
  2. EV is also suitable for Healthcare websites that establish communication between doctor and patients. Also, government, educational and other interactive websites that conduct online tests, assessments and such.
  3. If you’re working on mission-critical projects via your website, then an EV SSL certificate is the best option for you.
  4. The EV certificate is also the best choice for online wealth building and management sites and Blockchain websites. Those enabling online payments and are looking to build a long lasting digital empire.

Single Domain SSL certificate

The single domain covers only one main domain to which it belongs, without supporting any of its subdomains. So if you buy a single domain certificate for mycompany.com, it will only provide SSL security (and HTTPS status) to yourcompany.com. The Single Domain SSL certificate is ideal for small businesses and start-ups that just want to secure one domain. Like the homepage.

Wildcard SSL Certificate

Wildcard SSL Certificate - Plesk

Along with securing the main domain, the wildcard certificate also secures all related subdomains. In short, the Wildcard perfectly fills the gaps left by the single domain certificate. For instance, if you purchased a Wildcard SSL Certificate for mysite.com, then it will automatically secure blog.mydoman.com, services.mydomain.com, and shop.mydomain.com.

A Wildcard SSL certificate is best for business websites, institutional sites and other websites with multiple web pages of high importance. Such as government organizations, eCommerce sites, online new media, and social community websites.

Multiple Domain Names Certificate

The Multiple Domain names SSL certificate is fully capable of securing multiple domain names that belong to you. The Multiple Domain Names Certificate is suitable if you’re running a group of companies with different URLs or you’re considering starting up multiple blogs or sites in the future.

HTTP to HTTPS: Get the best benefits from your SSL Certificate

You need to know about various options and their suitability for you to make the best SSL choice. Especially with the move from HTTP to HTTPS. This article should help you evaluate this in the context of your business and its objectives. If you’d like to know more about the suitability of different certificates, read our SSL Certificate guide here or the more detailed SSL info from Digicert.

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About

Jitendra Bhojwani
Jitendra from EverData Technologies writes extensively on the hosting industry, data centers, Big Data, and AI.

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