How to get SSL?

Getting an SSL digital certificate depends greatly on the certification authorities validation procedures and type of certificate.

Domain control validated or low-assurance certificates requires usually a technical verification done against the domain’s administrative email accounts or modification at the web site. Those certificates are many times issued instantly or within a short time, without further verification requirements. Low-assurance certificates should not be used for financial transactions or other higher value protection. Typical use of a domain validated certificate would be protecting authentication to forums, blogs and web portals.

Identity or organization validated medium assurance certificates requires usually the verification of the identity of the subscriber by various means. Certification authorities many times rely on third party sources and various additional checks and confirmations for the vetting of the details the subscriber has to provide. Those certificates provide a reasonable assurance about the identity and domain control or ownership and may be used for the protection of financial transactions, however it’s difficult with current modern browsers to distinguish between low and medium assurance certificates.

Extended validation certificates are vetted according to the EV Guidelines published by the CA/Browser Forum. Certification authorities have to meet various defined requirements in order to be able to issue EV certificates. Subscribers have to undergo detailed verifications of their identity and organization. Those certificates should be used by financial institutions and popular brands and modern browser provide additional indications like a green painted address bar.

You may find and compare some popular SSL providers here. When subscribing at a certification authority it’s advices to prepare relevant information about the subscriber in advance, depending on the certificate type. Most authorities provide step-by-step instructions about how to install an SSL certificate at the various web servers and software.

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