March 12, 2018

Extended Validation (EV) Certificates

How to make your website secure

Have you ever noticed the green padlock and word “Secure” in the URL box of websites and wondered why some have it and others don’t? When you see green in the URL box, it means that website is secure. In other words, you have the green light to enter personal information over the web with much less worry that someone can access it.

This guide will walk you through how to make your website secure by explaining what SSL and EV certificates are, how to obtain them, and how they differ from each other.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. This mean that the communication between a browser and your website is secure through a process called encryption. Basically, this just means that the information exchanged cannot be read by anyone else who gets ahold of the information. There are several different levels and types of SSL certificates based on the needs of your company and the type of information shared between you and your customers.

Benefits of having an EV cert

An EV SSL Certification is the highest level of SSL Certificate available. As a general practice, the typical SSL Certificate that Blue Door Consulting will put on a website is called a Domain Validated (DV) Certificate; however, an EV Certificate can be obtained for a domain for more authentication for the organization. Both DV Certificates and EV Certificates will allow your domain to be accessed at https, rather than http.

How do you know if you are on a secure website?

There are some key visual differences in the browser that the end user will see, differentiating the two certificates. DV Certificates will add the green secure status, padlock and https in the URL, as shown below.

Sample of a DV certificate

EV Certificates, the most secure certification, will also display the padlock, and green https; additionally, the verified Business Name and country associated with the EV Certificate will be displayed publicly to end users. 

EV certificate example

Who needs to EV SSL Certification?

  • Financial companies
  • E-commerce sites
  • Medical companies
  • Insurance companies

Any time customers are sharing credit card information, Social Security numbers or other highly personal information, a secure connection with an EV certificate should be used.

Dangers of unsecure websites

Phishing, a practice of tricking users into giving out their personal information, has become a threat to businesses. Phishers have obtained free DV Certificates for their imitation websites to help them appear more secure and trustworthy in order to trick users into submitting personal information. By obtaining an EV Certificate for your website, your users will have more trust in your business and website because the URL in the browser declares they are on a legitimate website, not an imitation.

If you are ever unsure of what level of security a website has, look for the green-highlighted company name after the padlock for the highest security.

How to Make Your Website Secure With an ev cert

Compared to other certificates, the process for validating EV Certificates is the longest and most comprehensive. To obtain an EV Certificate for your domain, as a business owner, you must complete a verification process by:

  1. Proving the existence of your business, including evidence from a third party service like the Better Business Bureau or Hoovers
  2. Showing evidence that this request was made on behalf of the business itself
  3. Provide general contact information about your business, including your physical address and phone number

Companies issuing the certificates, also known as a Certificate Authority (CA), will verify the information provided above about your business. Finally, in line with DV Certificates, they will also need to verify that you own the domain. The business contact information that you provide will all be assigned to the certificate and made available in the browser.

The time it takes to obtain an EV Certificate will depend on the verification information provided. If it takes longer to verify your business, it will be less immediate. It can take anywhere from a few hours to several months.

EV Certificates are generally valid for two years after purchase.

The cost of an ev cert

In general, the cost of purchasing an EV Certificate is much higher compared to a DV Cert because the business is also paying for the verification process, maintenance and installation of the certificate. Because each certificate authority offers different services and levels of verification, the cost of an EV certificate will vary, from as little as $100 to as much as $1,000, depending on the vendor, the number of domains, the term of commitment, and the level of encryption and validation.

The authority Blue Door Consulting recommends is typically in the mid-range, around $600. For businesses interested in securing an EV Certificate, an estimate will be provided based on that business’s specific situation and needs.

Get secure

Do you want to know how to make your website secure? Secure websites instill trust with your clients, creating more loyal customers and a reputation of meeting the highest industry standards. If you would like more information on the types of SSL certificates you need or if you would like help in the process to obtain a certification, call us today!