McAfee Mythbusters: 5 Misconceptions About Trustmarks

Back by popular demand, we are happy to present the second installment of our McAfee Mythbusters series.

What is a Trustmark? Generally taking the form of a living icon or logo on your website, a trustmark proves that you are a legitimate organization, who abides by certain security or privacy regulations.

Today, consumers are more uncertain than ever about the security of the websites they interact with and buy from. There have been a number of high profile security breaches this past year, and many are anxious about giving away their personal information online. The prevalence of phishing scams and bogus websites make it crucial for online merchants to eliminate consumer doubts and keep financial information secure.

Aside from employing backend security, displaying a security seal or trustmark is a great way to show that your eCommerce business has gone through a strict validation process. However, many misconceptions exist around trustmarks: how they work, and why they’re important. Below, we discuss the top five trustmark-related misconceptions and address some of the confusion around them.

Myth #1: All trustmarks are the same

There are actually four basic types of trustmarks, each serving a unique purpose and/or securing different aspects of a website. Which ones you choose will depend on your specific business practices and needs, but the more verification your site receives, the safer it will be and the safer your customers will feel.

Reputation – Reputation trustmarks from organizations like the Better Business Bureau, serve as proof that there is a legitimate business behind the website.

Privacy – Privacy trustmarks indicate that a website has a full privacy and data protection policy, as defined by the provider of the trustmark service, like TRUSTe.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) – A valid SSL trustmark tells users that the site uses SSL session encryption technology, represented by web addresses beginning with “https://”.

Security/Vulnerability Scanning – A security and vulnerability scanning service like the McAfee SECURE™ trustmark verifies that the website is scanned regularly for viruses, malicious downloads and other malware.

Myth #2: Trustmarks will not affect business revenue

Perceived security is a huge factor in the success of online retail stores—especially for those who fall into the small to medium category. Trustmarks help provide additional assurance to new and returning visitors as well as encourage those who may have doubts regarding the security of your business. Not providing the proper confidence elements for customers to feel safe will undoubtedly result in the loss of potential revenue.

Security seals not only boost consumer confidence, but they also uphold your reputation as a safe and reliable merchant. Displaying trustmarks will ultimately lead to an increase in traffic as well as sales – improving your bottom line regardless of size.

Myth #3: My size business doesn’t need to use trustmarks

While an established reputation and long-standing customer relationships can be better for sales, they can’t protect your site from a potential security breach. Looking back on some of the top incidents this year alone, most victims were larger brands. In fact, a recent study from LexisNexis found that fraud hits large online retailers much harder than their smaller counterparts. Trustmarks not only help bigger brands maintain their image as eCommerce leaders, but they also provide an additional layer of protection.

That being said, small eCommerce merchants have the most to gain by displaying confidence elements like trustmarks. Consumer concern is highest when shopping smaller or lesser-known sites, which don’t have the same following as many larger brands. According to a survey conducted by Harris Research, about a third of consumers would choose a small independent site with a trustmark over a larger well known site.

Myth #4: There is no reason to use trustmarks because even secured sites can be breached

Hackers and cyber criminals are getting savvier all the time, but this is absolutely not a valid reason to avoid implementing proper security.

Abiding by privacy regulations, being recognized by the Better Business Bureau, or undergoing daily security scans may not be enough to ensure safety – but these are all valuable steps in the right direction. Online businesses small and large have an obligation to the customers who buy from them to achieve the highest levels of protection possible, with trustmarks and the services behind them being a crucial part of that process.

Myth #5: SSL encryption is the only trustmark my business needs

As we said above, each trustmark certification only verifies one aspect of your business.

SSL encryption is a core part of data security, but it only secures data in transit. Once the data has reached its final destination, it is vulnerable to attack if there is no other form of security in place. By employing both SSL encryption and daily security scanning, vulnerabilities or other threats can be eliminated before and after a transaction has been completed.

Trust is Crucial to eCommerce Success

Building trust is one of the core foundations of any business, and when it comes to eCommerce, trust is vital to success. Undergoing the various certification processes associated with the four types of trustmarks is a critical part of ensuring consumer confidence and secure financial transactions.

While no method of protection is foolproof, displaying a variety of trustmarks demonstrates that you are taking the necessary steps toward keeping your site and your customers’ data safe.

Visit our website for more information on how the McAfee SECURE™ trustmark can improve trust and sales conversions through comprehensive daily security scans. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @McAfeeSECURE for the latest in eCommerce news and events.

Read more: McAfee Mythbusters: 5 Misconceptions About Trustmarks

Story added 8. October 2012, content source with full text you can find at link above.