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Website Trust Marks – What Are They and What Do They Mean

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Believe it or not, but in the U.S., two-thirds of consumers now shop online, according to Yankee Group Research, which recently released a report that discusses the importance of trust marks to web merchants and their customers.

Clearly, online commerce is big business and trust marks are very critical to consumers who need assurances that they are dealing with a reputable website. Trust marks are seals, logos, and icons displayed on e-commerce websites to show that merchants are making an effort to protect their customers. It’s important for sellers to promote security because we all know cybercriminals and online fraudsters fi nd it relatively easy to steal personal and fi nancial data from consumers and merchants.

Trust marks, often displayed on a home page or the checkout page, can indicate a range of things, including whether or not the website uses certain encryption technology; if the business is accredited; or how thoroughly, if at all, the website is scanned for vulnerabilities that could be exploited to steal data and identity information from customers.

Only as good as the technology and policy behind them, trust marks are useful if a consumer is aware of the particular trust mark’s strengths and weaknesses. This Yankee Group report defines the various types of trust marks, what they can and cannot do, and how consumers and businesses should use them.
Good Advice from Yankee Group
So what should you look for when you encounter a trust mark? According to Yankee Group:

1 - Verify before you trust
Can you click on the seal to verify it is real and up to date?

2 - Don’t assume all trust marks are the same
Does the seal provider use a “set it and forget it” approach or does it require the site to pass a daily scan?

3 - Read the fine print
Just because a trust mark proclaims it is good doesn’t mean it is. What do they actually require of the sites they certify?

The Yankee Group report, sponsored by McAfee, is titled “Trust Marks: What’s Behind the Label Counts.”

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