How to Apply for an SSL Certificate and What to Expect
Your Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate is among the most important tools you have for protecting customers' sensitive data and convincing customers that your Web site is trustworthy and reputable and your business legitimate. So what's involved in getting that SSL Certificate?
The first step is to decide what type of SSL Certificate is right for your business. Both Organizationally Validated (OV) Certificates and Extended Validation (EV) Certificates require the certificate issuer to verify independently the information concerning the applicant's business. Expected to reach the market in early 2007, EV Certificates demand exactly what their name indicates: more extensive validation of the applicant's business credentials to help ensure that the applicant isn't a phisher, spoofer, or other type of online criminal. However, these EV Certificates will be available initially only to corporations and government agencies.
In contrast to OV and EV Certificates, issuers of Domain Validated Certificates verify only that the applicant is the registrant of the domain name with which the Certificate will be associated.
All types of certificates encrypt data when transmitted between the online business and customers' Web browsers.
When you apply for an SSL Certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA) such as Network Solutions, you will be asked to provide certain types of information about your business and your ownership of it. Depending upon the type of certificate you are seeking, this information may include:
- Dun & Bradstreet registration numbers
- Proof of physical address via database listings
- Opinion letter from legal counsel or public accountant
- Other corporate, financial, and government documents such as Articles of Incorporation, bank accounts, and business licenses
- Government-issued photo IDs
The CA will review and verify the accuracy of these documents. Depending on the type of certificate, it may also perform additional checks before issuing the SSL Certificate. If the applicant's credentials can't be verified, then the CA will not issue the Certificate.
Due to the rigorous validation measures, issuing an OV certificate generally takes 24 hours, although in some cases the process may take two or three days.
Not yet available for purchase. EV Certificates will require far more detailed documentation and validation procedures, which in turn will take more time to verify before issuance. EV validation is currently expected to take up to a week to complete. EV Certificates are expected to be available in early 2007.
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