In 2017, the best way to instantly connect with customers is EV SSL
We live in an age where the internet has become an integral part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, that means we’re all well-versed in the risks that come along with using the internet. Nowadays, people are hyper-vigilant about their privacy and protecting sensitive information.
That’s an important detail for any business owner to remember, too. When you’re operating online, before you can make any type of headway towards converting you need to establish trust. No matter what your conversion may be – from simply clicking a link to purchasing a new TV – your customer has to trust you before they do anything.
And nothing, absolutely nothing on the internet make a better, more trustworthy first impression than Extended Validation SSL.
Let’s Talk About Authentication
Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates provide the highest level of authentication. But what is authentication, and why do you need it?
Authentication is the other, oftentimes lesser publicized aspect of SSL. When a company or organization applies for an SSL Certificate, it must undergo authentication. There are three levels of authentication:
- Domain Validation (DV) – Requires you to simply prove ownership over the registered domain.
- Organization Validation (OV) – Requires a company or organization to undergo light business vetting.
- Extended Validation (EV) – Requires a company or organization to undergo extensive business vetting.
Basically, authentication is proof of identity. It’s a way for a website to prove that it is the legitimate article, run by a legally registered business, and not, say, a fake website that was created to steal their personal information (that’s called phishing).
Now, you may think that never happens, but according to figures from the CA Security Council, while 90% of major companies and corporations have dealt with cyber-attacks, 71% of small and medium-sized businesses have also been targeted. And according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small businesses that are victimized end up shuttering within six months of the attack.
Phishing is one of the most common tactics employed by cybercriminals. And the only way to truly prevent it from happening to you, is with a Business Authentication (OV or EV) SSL Certificate.
Why is Authentication Important?
As we alluded to in the previous section, phishing is a real risk in this day and age. And that risk is only going to grow. In 2017, marked by the release of Google Chrome 56, the browsers will push an initiative aimed at getting the entire internet to encrypt. This is a good thing, as nobody should be able to eavesdrop on other people’s connections, but it’s also contributing – along with a handful of other factors – to a climate that is perfect for phishing.
Google is also labeling all sites with encryption – at the DV and OV levels – as “Secure” now. Pretty soon, internet users may find themselves lulled into a false sense of security as a new binary emerges. Sites will all be labeled either “Secure” or “Not Secure.” That lends itself to a mindset where people assume a site is safe as long as they see a “Secure” indicator next to the URL in the address bar.
Where this all gets dangerous is that the initiative to encrypt the entire internet has spawned several free SSL services. These services are great, their intentions are noble, but they are oftentimes undermanned and lack the resources and infrastructure to prevent issuing certificates to cybercriminals. For instance, Let’s Encrypt only checks Google’s blacklist before issuing. So as long as a site isn’t blacklisted, it can get a free DV SSL Certificate, which, when installed, will result in that site being label “secure” for as long as it takes Google to flag them (that can be up to a few weeks in some cases).
As you can imagine, phishing is going to be at an all-time high this year. And the only way to protect your customers (and your brand) is business authentication.
But not all business authentication is equal.
Why EV SSL is the Best Option
Extended Validation SSL has a unique visual indicator, the green address bar. Now, the green address bar is actually kind of an inaccurate descriptor nowadays, it’s actually just the company’s name written in green font (along with its country of origin) next to the URL in the address bar.
But it’s unmistakable and it can’t fake.
That’s important, because it means it offers instant, undeniable visual confirmation of your company’s verified identity. Within a second of arriving, with just a single glance, a customer can instantly verify who you are and that they’re safe. That’s a good first impression!
Now, OV SSL offers similar benefits in that it does display verified business details about your company or organization. But, here’s the catch: people need to know where to look.
That’s right, acquiring OV SSL ideally involves educating your customers about how to check certificate details to verify identity. That can be a bit of a headache. You see, the problem is OV and DV share the same visual indicators. For the untrained eye, they look exactly the same. And once people start to realize that the “Secure” indicator doesn’t mean they’re safe and there’s no way to easily differentiate between OV and DV sites, EV is going to have even more of an advantage.
That’s because EV SSL offers instant visual assurance. You don’t have to rely upon your customers to click on a padlock icon or search for certificate details. You just have to get them to show up to your website.
Not to mention the fringe benefits, like the fact EV SSL aligns your brand with the best. The fact the green address bar is, in its own right, a status symbol. Or the fact that EV SSL oftentimes comes packaged with other premium features like malware scanners and vulnerability assessments that can make your site even safer.
EV can even pay for itself. Per research done by Tek-Ed, EV SSL is proven to boost conversions—meaning it is more of an investment than an expense.
You just can’t go wrong with EV. Now is not the time to try and save money on web security. Show your customers you’ve made an investment in their safety with EV SSL.