Do These Seals Make You Trust Online Sellers?

You’ve probably noticed that many e-commerce sites have little logos and seals at the bottom of their pages, with names like Trustwave, McAfee or the Better Business Bureau attached to them. They are there to signify that the site is either accredited by a trusted organization, or covered by a protective technology. Does the site of them make you feel safer?

It’s an interesting issue to ponder in this age of data breaches and ID theft. We hope that the sites we do business with are protected by the latest security, and we hope that the sellers are honest. But we can never be too sure.

Recently, one of those “logo companies”, Comodo, set out to poll the public, and find out which of the common seals inspire the greatest trust. They offered the following choices:

Better Business Bureau Accredited








What’s interesting about this list is that these companies behind the seals aren’t all offering the same things. For instance, Norton and McAfee are famous for providing security software, while the Better Business Bureau began in the days before the Internet, as a group that keeps tabs on consumer complaints about businesses.

Comodo provides SSL digital certificates, while Thawte provides X.509 certificates. TRUSTe assesses, monitors and certifies websites on the strength of their privacy protection policies and safeguards, while Trustwave is concerned with a site’s vulnerability to threats.

You get the picture: each of these companies does slightly (or very) different things, and you probably need what all of them specialize in providing.

As online sellers scramble to secure their sites in the face of mounting threats, it’s probably a good idea for consumers to keep track of which sellers offer the greatest levels of protection. These seals give us some clues.

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