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I am new to SSL so can someone explain why my address bar turns green when I'm on certain sites beginning with https:// and sometimes it doesn't even though I know the site has SSL? Maybe these two nuances are not even related, but if I go to GoDaddy and order a new domain I notice their address bar is green the entire time I'm using the https:// protocol, but then I go to Victoria's Secret to place an order and even though it says https:// the address bar doesn't turn green.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 14 '10 at 19:26

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4 Answers 4

This is likely because the site in question is using an extended validation (EV) ssl certificate; as described here.

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It is a more expensive SSL certificate, and in order to obtain one you must go through a more rigorous ownership verification process.

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It's VeriSign marketing guys invention who decided to get more money and share their extra profit with browser vendors (I guess).

Btw, not all browsers supports that "green bar" there is list of supported browsers: * IE 5.01+ * AOL 5+ * Netscape 4.7+ * Opera 7+ * Safari * Mozilla 1+ * Firefox 1+ * Konqeror

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This is just so wrong it's not funny. For starters, EV certificates are only differentiated in much, much newer browsers (IE7, etc - NOT IE5). The first part might be a part truth, but there's a lot more to it than just marketing. –  Mark Henderson Oct 14 '10 at 21:46
    
I agree with @Farseeker, marketing may be a small part, but the basic concept is that businesses will have stricter verification meaning that when granted the website being SSL'd is "more" trustworthy than your average SSL site. –  Alex Oct 26 '10 at 21:28

Your browser bar turns green when you purchase an Extended Validation certificate. An EV certificate does not provide any extra transport-level security (that is, using a site with an EV is just as secure as using a site without an EV).

What an EV certificate DOES provide is extra peace of mind that you're not about to be ripped off scammers or phishers. We've recently gone through the EV process, and it's a lengthy process where they verify every single piece of identifiable information about your company against what's provided in your application and on your website.

Basically, it's provided simply for peace of mind. Unless you're running a very popular website, or a bank, I wouldn't waste your time or money on one.

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