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About SSL Certificates
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a protocol formulated by Netscape in 1996 which quickly became the preferred method for securing data transmissions across the Internet. SSL is a fundamental part of most Web browsers and Web servers and utilises the public-and-private key encryption system created by Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman.
For an SSL connection to be made, the SSL protocol requires that a server ought to have a digital certificate installed. A digital certificate is an electronic file that distinctively identifies servers and individuals. Digital certificates serve as a sort of digital passport or credentials which authenticate the server before the SSL session is established.
Generally, digital certificates are signed by an independent and trustworthy third party to ensure their validity. The “signer” of a certificate is recognised as a Certification Authority (CA), such as VeriSign and thawte.
- Domain Validation (DV) is the lowest level of validation, and verifies that whoever requests the certificate controls the domain that it protects.
- Organization Validation (OV) verifies the identity of the organization (e.g. a business, nonprofit, or government organization) of the certificate applicant.
- Extended Validation (EV), like OV, verifies the identity of an organization. However, EV represents a higher standard of trust than OV and requires more rigorous validation checks to meet the standard of the CA/Browser Forum’s Extend.