SSL certificates utilize similar methods to safeguard your data and to validate it; therefore, a logical way to categorize the SSL certificates is through the validation method. Every SSL certificate must be verified by the Certificate Authority (CA) in order to ensure that it is supporting the right, authorized website. Every verification is confirmed at minimum control of the domain. However, more steps can be executed for confirming the existence of the requesting company or organization for establishing a higher trust level through extended vetting.
Here is further explanation on types of SSL certificates on the basis of validation method used:
Domain Validated Certificates (DV Certificates)
Domain validated certificates are a common type of SSL certificates. They are verified only with the use of the domain name. Usually, the Certificate Authority (CA) sends a confirmation email that comprises of the email address listed in the WHOIS record of the domain. Alternatively, a verification file is also provided by the CA that is placed in the website by the website owner in order to protect the website. Either of the method confirms that the domain is used and controlled by the party requesting the DV certificate.
Organization Validated (OV Certificates)
Organization validated or OV certificates need higher level of validation as compared to the DV certificates and they also ensure more trust. For an OV certificate, the actual business that wants the certificate will be verified by the CA. You can view the information required for getting an OV certificate here – https://www.ssl.com/faqs/ssl-ov-validation-requirements/. The name of the organization is also listed in the OV certificate. This certificate adds an additional trust level stating that both the website and the company are validated and reputable. OV certificates are usually used by the organizations, government entities and other organizations that wish to provide an additional level of confidence and trust in their visitors.
Extended Validation (EV Certificates)
The “Green Bar” of an EV Certificate is shown in various browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
The Extended Validation or EV Certificates ensure the maximum amount of trust level and they also need a lot of effort from the CA for the validation process. As per the guidelines defined by the CA/Browser Forum; additional documentation must be provided for the issuance of an EV certificate. View EV SSL Requirements to know more about the procedure to get an EV certificate. Just like the organization validated (OV) certificate, the EV certificate also mentions the company name in the certificate; however, a fully validated EV certificate displays the company name in the address bar itself and the address bar is displayed in the green color. This is a direct, visual way that tells the viewers that extra steps are taken to confirm the trust level of the website that they are visiting. This is the reason why most of the large organizations and companies prefer to use the EV certificate.
Other SSL Certificates
Above mentioned are the major types of SSL certificates that are issued for protecting websites. SSL.com also provides ‘code signing certificates’ and ‘personal authentication certificates’. These certificates might need different validation procedures instead of the ones followed for DV, OV and EV certificates.