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Establishing Trust Online: Trust and Security Seals Around the World

In today’s online environment with breaches, hacks, data compromises, credit card theft and fraud, conveying to a site visitor that your website is safe and secure is important for building trust, closing sales and making new customers. An effective way of accomplishing this is through third party verification with a security or trust seal, and there are many different organizations that offer this in North America and other world regions. However, trust seals and security seals are not the same, and different ones may be more or less recognized in different countries and regions.

There are several businesses offering trust and security seals, but it is important to first differentiate the two. Trust seals indicate that a website or business is legitimate and that the third party trust seal provider has verified the business’ website, contact information and other details. This can also include adhering to certain rules or conduct as well as other requirements, or even moderating disputes between the business and customer. Examples of trust seal providers include the Better Business Bureau with their BBB Accredited Business Seal for the Web. VeraSafe is another provider of trust seals who verifies websites and businesses worldwide.

Security seals may include website verification similar to a trust seal, but are primarily focused on website security such as with preventing malware. These services generally include daily or frequent website scans and malware monitoring, and may also include vulnerability scanning and support for maintaining PCI compliance or SSL (secure socket layer) encryption features. The Norton Secure Seal, formerly VeriSign, is one of the most recognized security seals in the U.S. market, but there are several other security seal providers that are widely used and recognized as well. This includes McAfee SECURE seals, which similar to the Norton seal utilizes a brand associated with virus protection to convey confidence and security, as well as TRUSTe Certified Privacy seals and Trust Guard’s Business Verified, Privacy Verified and Security Scanned seals.

There are a handful of trust and security seal providers that are available globally and recognized in many different regions. Norton Secured Seals are used on websites across 170 different countries while TRUSTe is common in North America and Europe and VeraSafe provides trust seals worldwide. But just as payment preferences differ across countries and regions, different trust and security seals are more recognized and trusted as well.

In Spain, for example, Confianza Online is a well-recognized trust mark. Backed by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, this seal lets users know they can share information and transact online with confidence. Also recognized in the European market are the EuroPriSe trans-European privacy trust seal as well as Norton Secured and McAfee SECURE seals. For the European market McAfee seals are provided through their partner Business To You BV who is based in the Netherlands. Additionally, TRUSTe provides trust seals for websites operating in Europe verifying that the site is in compliance with the EU Safe Harbor data protection guidelines. Other trust and security seal providers in Europe include GeoTrust, RapidSSL and Trustico who resells Norton Secured seals.

For the Asia-Pacific region McAfee SECURE seals are facilitated through their partner Vectra Corporation Ltd., based in Australia with additional offices in Singapore. ValidSafe provides security and trust seals worldwide, but is based in Singapore and has strong recognition in Asia. They offer varying levels of trust and security seals to include Business Assured, Privacy Assured, Security Assured and Website Verified.

Norton Secured and McAfee SECURE seals are also recognized and trusted in the Latin American market, and each are provided through partners. CertiSur S.A., based in Argentina, provides “Sitio Seguro” seals which are recognized by South American online shoppers and additionally partners with Symantec to support scanning and verifications for Norton Secured seals. McAfee SECURE trust marks are facilitated through two partners in South America: Distribuidora SaaS for Brazil and DigitalEra Business Technology Solutions for all other countries on the continent.

Trust and security seals are shown to increase consumer confidence in a website and improve sales conversion. For SMB businesses and websites, consumers tend to be more skeptical and these trust marks can be very important. While having these signals on a website can increase sales conversion, it is important to consider the differences with trust seals and security seals, as well as which seals or brands may be more recognized or trusted in certain regions.

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