Why The Hype Around Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates?

Security for your Web site is designed to enhance the confidence of visitors to your site so that they feel secure enough to buy online.   SSL Certificates have been available for many years and are a vital component to any online marketing strategy.  Depending on the type of certificate installed, it validates that your business is an authentic company that owns the domain and secures the session (using encryption) while a visitor is transacting with your Web site.

In the past few years, Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates have become the industry standard and has gained global popularity.  When a visitor goes to a Web site with an EV Certificate, the address bar in their Internet browser turns green and shows the name of the company and the Certificate Authority who issued the certificate.  This is a strong visual component that, coupled with the extra validation required, has had a significant impact on consumer awareness.

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Free Whitepaper: Building a Web Application Security Program
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A study done by Tec-Ed in January 2007 shows some staggering results:

  1. 100% of respondents noticed the green bar on the Web site.
  2. 93% of online shoppers prefer to shop on sites that display the EV Certificate.
  3. 97% are likely to share credit card information with sites displaying the EV Certificate.  Only 64% said that they would share credit card details with sites displaying other SSL Certificates. This is an increase of 27%!
  4. 77% of respondents said that they would hesitate completing a transaction with a Web site that used to have EV but no longer displays the green address bar (IE: they have down-graded to another Certificate).

An EV Certificate costs more than other SSL Certificates and usually takes a little while longer to issue due to the fact that the pre-issue vetting criteria is much stricter than for other certificates.  But this is what adds to the enhanced consumer confidence.

If you are considering implementing Internet Security and using SSL Certificates, please don’t underestimate the power of EV in the consumers’ minds.  Don’t allow the price alone to sway your decision.  In the same way that a GREEN traffic light tells motorists to GO!, the GREEN address bar tells consumers that they are safe to share their private details with the Web site.

Bronwyn Johnson

About Bronwyn Johnson

Bronwyn Johnson is an author and freelance technology journalist. Passionate about technology and gadgets, Bronwyn has been involved with IT sales and marketing for over 15 years. She is currently working for VeriSign as a Product Marketing Manager based in Cape Town, South Africa.

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2 Responses to Why The Hype Around Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates?

  1. John S September 22, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Good notes here; most of the companies I’ve run into that have implemented EV SSL have seen great results, so that definitely jibes with your data. Despite being the “industry standard,” however, several sites have yet to encrypt their pages — especially google, and social networks like twitter. It’s not only for online retailers — it’s for any site that stores private data posing a security risk. I’m glad to see that phishing attacks have in general gone down in the last few months, though — I wouldn’t be surprised if EV SSL was responsible.

  2. Bronwyn Johnson
    Bronwyn Johnson September 23, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    Hi John,
    Thank you for your comments. I agree that EV has played a significant role in reducing cyber crime and it is vital for non-ecommerce sites to also recognise the value of protecting their visitors’ private information.

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