Do Trust Guard Seals add any value to my site and do they really attract my visitors trustness and show my website more professional or this is just a game and waste of money?
I think that most users understand that a website that simply displays information is secure. The only time that a trust seal becomes useful is when a user is entering personal information or financial information into your website.
I always add a trust seal to my ecommerce websites but haven’t really ever thought of it for a website that isn’t collecting sensitive information.
We don’t collect CC info (as we use PayPal only) but we have a user profile to ask personal information to sell our products. Does it make sense to show the Trust Guard seals on our website?
It’s probably not a bad idea to show a site seal then but I don’t think it’s going to be something that will send people away if they don’t see it.
I believe that PayPal provides a seal for security when they check out through that so you’re covered there.
I think Trust Guard Seals are worth to use if you’re in high risk business otherwise if you’re already using SSL for secure transaction, I don’t think it’s necessary to use.
You can use any other processors, gateways or resellers (like 2CO). The main aim: your end user should feel confident
As one of the creators of Trust Guard I can say with out question it doesn’t matter what type of business you have, trust seals help in two ways:
- They increase conversion rates / sales! (We have thousands of test on all kinds of sites that prove this.)
- Our daily scanning protects your site from being hacked. High risk or not, the question is can you afford for your site to get hacked?
As for SSL secure transactions, most people believe that an SSL certificate is all the protection you need, but SSL certs only protect user data until it gets to your website, after that there is a 73% percent chance that the data and your site is not safe. Our scanning protects the data and your site.
Hope that helps!
Dave - all great information! I’m not challenging what you said, but is the data available to the public that shows Trust Seals result in higher conversions/sales? I’d like to be able to show this to my clients and hopefully get them to pay for the seal.
2. Our daily scanning protects your site from being hacked. High risk or not, the question is can you afford for your site to get hacked?
Ok, but there are incidents that shows hacker-safe websites can be also hacked.
Hi Jeff, Our Guarantee really says it all; Increase Your Sales or Double Your Money Back! No one else in the industry has the confidence to offer that kind of guarantee.
For test results I recommend that you check out our blog and testimonial page. We also give Trust Guard members the tools to test our seals on their own site. It’s always cool when you can test and prove it to your self.
Our test’s prove that over 73% of all sites have moderate to sever vulnerabilities, which means they are quite easy to hack. Scanning helps website owners know what vulnerabilities need to be fixed. If they choose not to fix all of them they may still be vulnerable.
Sorry but it sounds like marketing hype to me, trust seals really offer nothing above what an SSL encryption will offer, if the data on your server is compromised to the state that once it reaches your servers your customers data is at a real risk then you (1) shouldn’t be hosting your website in such an easy to exploit environment and (2) you are violating data protection laws by keeping your information in such an insecure location. Generally speaking, if you have no concept of web security and how to secure transactions you shouldn’t be performing them as your ill equipped. While servers do have security risks it seriously worries me that your playing on the insecurities of peoples personal information to give people a bumper sticker which makes them feel protected, and even worse, makes the public think it too (your scanner may help with those issues but it’s forming an unhealthy reliance which developers will have upon you fixing their issues).
Seals do scan for issues and they do offer protection against things going bump in the night so they can be worth it but to make them out to be some kind of silver bullet which will cure all ill’s is pretty unfair, after all what you failed to mention is that while people in those kind of studies do feel comforted by a security “seal” or a BBB accredited business sticker or some other image to glue to the screen, it’s far too easy for someone to forge the image and present a fake seal (and most people won’t investigate the accuracy of the seal making it nothing more than the equivalent of a “Valid HTML” button at the base of a website). While they do have their uses for business (and I wouldn’t detract from people getting them) the evidence is far from conclusive that they really present the public with anything more than a false sense of security and / or a reason for an inexperienced developer to think you’ll find all the holes for them, it’s treading on very thin ice.
Alex - while I think you’re 100% accurate in what you say, I don’t believe that Dave said this was a silver bullet. He made a few points which indicated that customers feel more comfortable with a seal and also pointed out that constant scanning helps prevent security holes from going unnoticed. These are two isolated goals and if they can be accomplished with a tool/service then I think it’s a great idea.
Does it create a crutch for developers who are not trained to properly handle security? Maybe it does, but is that a bad thing? Someone who isn’t trained regarding server security isn’t going to fail to properly educate themselves because they use a service like this, in my opinion. I’m sure you’ll agree that a base level understanding of security is simply not enough to thwart attackers. If someone is truly to become an useful security expert they’re going to need education anyway. What’s the harm is giving those who aren’t going to educate themselves anyway a bit of a leg up?
Finally, does it present a false image to customers? Maybe. It probably makes users think that their information is locked up nice and tight when the security seal actually does none of that on it’s own. It’s really on the shoulders of the developer to enforce strong security and there’s a sense of responsibility with displaying a security seal. I guess I am with you on this point that I would argue that companies who offer security seals should be doing more than scanning for potential problems, they should only be offering the seal when they have verified the website is as secure as possible and this needs to be re-verified on a regular basis.
Interesting arguments here, I’m excited to see how this turns out.
Oh I’m not saying their useless or that they don’t provide a service, they do have a genuine benefit for a savvy site owner but my worry is that the entire concept of trust seals is based on some kind of ideal that once your website bears the mighty mark it’s given a thumbs up the public can entirely trust. It’s almost like saying “we have a security guard keeping an eye out for burglars” only to find out that the valuables were stolen because the building owners forgot to lock the window and the security staff were busy setting bear-traps in the lobby by the main entrance. Offering such a mark gives customers a false sense of security because it’s too easily spoofed and the only person who really gets any benefit from it is the site owner who has some insurance and a get out of jail free card (because someone else was keeping an eye on them to stop something silly occurring). Having a mark is fine for the owner of the site (like a HTML valid button) but it really doesn’t mean anything for the end user if the site owner fails to fix the issues or if their found too late or even if the mark isn’t even valid. It’s almost a “give yourself a pat on the back” award, I don’t mean to sound this cynical but it really worries me that the security of peoples data is being trusted by the public for a PNG icon which says “I’m paying someone else to ensure I don’t make a whoopsie like I did last year!”. If the sites security is entirely in the hands of the developer, some fancy stamp they paid for doesn’t change their knowledge or make them suitable for fixing the issues as they occur, making them pretty much questionable in my eyes
Agreed, and I believe the best way to fix that is for the companies who offer these seals of approval to be responsible for only issuing seals if the website is truly secure - and being able to verify that. If they do a scan and a problem comes up, that seal should be revoked until it’s fixed. Will this make the web more safe? Probably not but it would reduce confidence thereby reducing sales on a website that doesn’t fix their problems.
To your point though, it’s still too easily spoofed. It’ll take me about an hour to create a company like this and issue seals of my own but that doesn’t mean it’s worth anything. I guess that means we’re right back to the task of educating the public which is sort of a lost cause.
Alex and Hyperbolik, can you summarize what you are saying in just one word? This seal is:
I appreciate if you just answere with #1 or #2 above.
Anyway, I contact all sites they listed on bottom of their testimonial page and only five of them answered me that I am copying below. email signatures are removed for privacy.
This is my 3rd year with them and it does seem to help. The only thing I do
not like about it is that they give out your home phone. But I have been
told other companies of this type do also. They are much less expensive then
others also. I check this out real well before I went with them. MacAfee
wanted 5 times as much as Trust Guard. I hope this helps and good luck.
They help to show we are not fraud and that we check out. I have no
idea if they increase conversion, though I would think they would
…the seals are generally worth it …
People seem to respond well to them. As far as direct conversion numbers we
don’t have specific data.
It is hard to say whether or not they increased our conversions because we added them to our website at a time when we made a lot of other changes to our websites. That being said, we have renewed our seals, and if we had to do it all over again, we would buy them again. They are a much better deal then what most companies offer.
If you want me to summarize it into one word I would have to say that the seals are useful.
However, keep in mind that by saying the seals are useful doesn’t mean that the value they bring is worth the cost, it simply means that they server some benefit, regardless of how small.
You’ll need to evaluate the value that a seal could bring for your customers for the cost.
I think that approach and first impression are very important. In any case you need to understand that and remember about that. First impression is 80% of sales success
And how may I know how much good/bad the first impression is for our visitors?
nimasdj, it’s not a black and white answer, I can’t just say their good or their bad. They do have an impact which can be positive but there are negative (or unsubstantiated) evidence for the level of impact they actually have, and whether the impact it has is a good thing or a bad thing. All I would say is if you feel it would make a genuine difference, go ahead. But just be careful and consider all the problems which may occur from it (such as a false sense of security for customers).