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How can you see if a certificate is DV, OV or EV?

As you probably know, certificates are important to show the visitor of your website that the communication between his/her browser and the server is securely encrypted. The green adress bar of the browser will also indicate that the company / bank / government organisation is who they claim to be.

Validation levels

Why are there different kind of certificates and why is there a price difference between the three well known certificates?

Domain Validation

A certificate provider will issue a Domain Validation (DV) class certificate to a purchaser if the purchaser can demonstrate he has the right to administratively manage a domain name. The certificate provider will mostly request a certain value to be stored in a DNS TXT record of the domain as proof of ownership.

Organization Validation

A certificate provider will issue an Organization Validation (OV) class certificate to a purchaser if the purchaser can meet two criteria: the right to administratively manage the domain name in question, and the CA performs a basic background check of your business.

Extended Validation

The Extended Validation (EV) certificate brings the highest level of encryption security. To acquire an EV certificate, the purchaser must persuade the certificate provider of its legal identity, including manual verification checks by a human.

Browsers will generally offer users a visual indication of the legal identity when a site presents an EV certificate. Most browsers show the legal name before the domain, and use a bright green color to highlight the change. In this way, the user can see the legal identity of the owner has been verified.

Policy Identifier

When you visit a website, several browsers show you the option to verify the certificate information. The detailled information (shown in the image for the Internet explorer browser) shows the Policy Indentifier of the Certificate Policy as 2.23.140.1.2.1.
Example of a certificate detail in Internet Explorer
Example of a certificate detail in Internet Explorer

What does "2.23.140.1.2.1." mean?

The Policy Identifier describes the validation level used to generate this certificate. There are currently three values found:
Policy IdentifierTypeRead more
2.23.140.1.2.1Domain Validation (DV)http://oid-info.com/get/2.23.140.1.2.1
2.23.140.1.2.2 Organization Validation (OV)http://oid-info.com/get/2.23.140.1.2.2
2.23.140.1.1Extended Validation (EV)http://oid-info.com/get/2.23.140.1.1
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