People know to look for the gold padlock when transacting online. E-commerce stores know they need an SSL certificate to get the gold padlock. It’s something consumers have been told numerous times whether it was from a pre-holiday news special about protecting yourself online or from the family member that thinks they know everything about technology.
The gold standard for e-commerce has gone green.
By now, you have probably seen the green address bar when you are shopping at some of the largest internet retailers out there. The green address bar only shows up when the website has an Extended Validation (EV) certificate. This is the highest level of identity assurance that can be given to visitors. This interactive and noticeable visual indicator is an overlooked way to immediately improve customer confidence and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
What about the gold padlock?
The validation process (what the Certification Authority (CA) does in order to check out that the entity asking for the certificate truly is who they say they are) varies between vendors for different certificate types. SSL Certificates were all given the exact same visual indicator, the gold padlock, regardless of the level of validation. Most users couldn’t differentiate between a certificate issued where only the domain was checked versus a certificate where the entire organization was verified against third party sources. This causes confusion as the gold padlock represents a variable level of website identity assurance.
To combat this confusion, Comodo founded the CA/B forum. The forum comprised all of the largest Certificate Authorities and major browsers who vowed to work together to create the first true standard for issuing certificates. The results of their work are the new Extended Validation standards for Certificates. These new high-level standards have become the backbone of trust and validation.
Along with the standards, the CA/B forum created a new visual indicator, the green address bar, to convey this trust. Just like the gold padlock was pushed by the media, the green address bar picks up where it left off. The green address bar tells users that the site has met the highest validation standards available. Thanks to the green address bar, people who already know to look for a visual indicator can now rely on the meaning behind it.