What is an EV SSL Certificate and Do I Need an EV SSL for My Website?

What is an EV SSL or Extended Validation Certificate?

An Extended Validation SSL Certificate is the most trusted security certificate available. An EV SSL Certificate activates a green padlock and turns the website URL into a green address bar. The green padlock and website owner’s legal entity or organisation name will be displayed in the browser URL field.

The presence of an EV SSL provides one of the strongest guarantees that the website owner has passed through a global standardised verification process. This verification process proves their existence in physical location, legal entity and operational status. The validation process requires them to also prove their exclusive rights to use the domain displayed in your browser.

EV SSL Certificates provide the highest level of security that includes 256-bit encryption strength and complex cryptography technology designed to be impossible to crack.

View more information about Extended Validation Certificates on Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_Validation_Certificate

How do I know if a site is using an EV SSL?

There are specific visual cues that notify the user that an EV certificate is being used on a website. A website secured with an EV SSL certificates will have the following four things appear in all major browsers:

  • Green in the address bar
  • Company name and padlock in the address bar
  • https:// at the beginning of the address
  • Company information in the certificate details

EV SSL Certificates in Major Browsers

What are the benefits of Extended Validation Certificates?

Build Immediate Trust

By going through the validation process for an EV SSL your website will display the unmistakeable trust indicator. The green address bar with the padlock and your organisation’s information legitimises your business immediately.

Improve SEO Rankings

In August 2014 Google first announced that HTTPS is a ranking signal – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2015/12/indexing-https-pages-by-default.html

Again in December 2015 Google announced “…As a natural continuation of this, today we’d like to announce that we’re adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page. When two URLs from the same domain appear to have the same content but are served over different protocol schemes, we’ll typically choose to index the HTTPS URL..“ – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2015/12/indexing-https-pages-by-default.html

From our experience every website where we’ve implemented a full-site HTTPS there has been an improvement in their rankings.

Higher Conversion Rates

Converting browsers to buyers and casual visitors to members on your website requires trust and confidence in your website. Especially for those industries where fraud and scams are common, the rigorous authentication process to obtain an EV SSL can set companies apart. Many companies have found that an EV SSL Certificate helps them establish their name online with an EV SSL. The result is higher conversions, higher value transactions, and increased revenue.

Reduce Abandoned Shopping Carts

For online retailers, reducing the abandoned transactions of potential customers that have found a product or commenced an application on their website is a high priority. Where customers can see the green address bar, with padlock and the organisation name, they are more likely to follow-through and complete their transactions. ƒ

Combat Against Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks that use the strategy of mimicking websites to trick customers in providing sensitive information are one of the more common cases of online fraud. Extended Validation SSL Certificates are one of the greatest ways to combat phishing websites and consequently EV SSL has become a real thorn in the side of these criminals.

Should I Use an SSL Certificate to Secure My Website »

I am a startup, do I need an EV SSL?

Every day there are more ecommerce businesses coming online, hawking their goods, trying to claim buyers’ cash. There are so many players vying for the consumers’ attention that companies need to find a way to differentiate themselves from the crowd.

For a new business this is especially important as you need to gain credibility and traction as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to gain credibility and stand out from your competition is to show that you’re serious, genuine and can be trusted. By undertaking the verification process to obtain an Extended Validation Certificate gives you a head start.

An Extended Validation Certificate for a new business, that you’re serious about, should be high up on your list of priorities.

Requirements to obtain an EV SSL

In order to obtain an EV SSL certificate a rigorous validation process is undertaken, hence the name Extended Validation SSL Certificate.

A verified company has to provide particular information about itself. These requirements include:

  • Verifying the legal rights to use the domain.
  • Verifying the physical address of the requesting entity.
  • Verifying the legal status of the requesting entity.
  • Verifying the operational status of the requesting entity.
  • Verifying the organization’s ownership with telephone call.

Examples of companies using EV SSL

Reputable companies selling online or taking personal information online that are using Extended Validation SSL certificates.

Coles Australia EV SSL

JB Hi-Fi Australia EV SSL

Westpac EV SSL

Large Companies NOT Using EV SSL

These are companies that have opted for cheaper SSL options and I am surprised they have not gone to the effort of using EV SSL.

Harvey Norman No EV SSL

Slater and Gordon No EV SSL

The Good Guys No EV SSL

Conclusion

If you’re selling online or taking personal information online then at the very least you should have an SSL certificate installed.

If you’re after a high level of credibility, security and trust then an Extended Validation SSL Certificate should be on your shopping list.

If your site has the green bar and your competitor does not then you will have a distinct advantage when it comes to the appearance of trust and credibility.

Additional Reading

I found a couple of white papers from a few years back that provide some compelling information about EV SSL. These documents were compiled by Tec-Ed and Verisign.

Downloads

Tec-Ed EV SSL Study »
Verisign EV White Paper »