When people shop online they should be checking the websites they visit for signs that they are trustworthy. A few years ago Econsultancy reported that a Cybersource survey found that 85% of UK online shoppers look for signs that the website they are considering buying from is secure.
They should also look for the padlock symbol that is usually displayed beside the URL and they can check the URL contains ‘https’, showing that data transmitted from the site is secure. They can also see if the site has any trustmarks. These are logos that many ecommerce web shops place on their sites to show that they have passed security and privacy tests to reassure customers that it is safe to enter Paypal or credit card information and that their privacy will be respected. But can all trustmarks be trusted?
Recently a plugin called Trust Mogul has become available that allows site owners to generate their own trustmarks. The site doesn’t have to undergo or pass any tests to generate and display the seals, they simply have to install a plugin and activate it! Clearly there is potential for abuse here and websites that use these methods to “generate” trust may not be as trustworthy as they first appear!