VeriSign's Trust Seal Adds 'Trust' To Non SSL Sites

This one's for the online entrepreneurs out there : if you've been disappointed by the inability to use VeriSign's Trust Mark on your site because you don't use SSL encryption, the company has just launched the "Trust Seal", which offers a certain level of guarantee to customers when they shop on your site.

The Seal costs $US299 a year, and consists of authenticating your business plus daily scanning of your site for malware. And if it proves to a potential customer you're not just some russian mobster hoping to steal their credit card details, isn't that worth it?

VeriSign introduces VeriSign Trust™ Seal, allowing more web sites to benefit from world’s No. 1 online Trust Mark

Internet’s most recognised symbol of trust can drive consumer preference by distinguishing trusted from untrusted sites

Sydney, Australia – VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure for the networked world, today debuted the VeriSign Trust™ Seal, an extension of the world’s most recognised online trust mark, to increase confidence, traffic and transactions for sites that do not require SSL Certificates. These include sites that outsource their shopping cart or payment functions to third-party providers and those that do not collect sensitive personal information. With the VeriSign Trust Seal, VeriSign is promoting a safer Internet by proactively identifying Web sites that compromise consumer safety.

By displaying the new VeriSign Trust Seal, any business Web site has the opportunity to leverage the global awareness created by the VeriSign Secured® Seal, which is viewed more than 175 million times a day across more than 90,000 Web sites worldwide. The VeriSign Trust Seal pairs the familiar VeriSign checkmark circle with the words “VeriSign Trusted,” enabling Web sites of any size to display a highly recognised visual element commonly seen on brand-name Web sites.

Benefits for Web sites that display the VeriSign Trust Seal include increased traffic, conversion and customer loyalty. The VeriSign Trust Seal helps drive traffic by serving up the most recognised trust mark on the Internet while helping Web sites avoid search-engine blacklisting. Additionally, increased conversions result as consumers have a higher propensity to take action on sites that they trust, and they will come back to sites that protect them from malicious attacks or identity theft.

"Reputation is vital to the success of the growing number of small-to-medium-sized business competing in the online marketplace, and trust is a key component for protecting brand reputation and increasing consumer confidence," said Ray Boggs, vice president of SMB research for IDC. "VeriSign’s brand recognition will extend to the new VeriSign Trust Seal to help small and medium-sized businesses communicate trust and safety to customers and prospects."

Unique Features Combine to Build Trust With its unique combination of trust-building features, the VeriSign Trust Seal delivers value by:

· Authenticating the business and domain control. Authentication helps establish that the Web site represents an actual business, not a scam or phishing site. Validation from the Internet’s most trusted third party can help mitigate these risks and improve consumer confidence in the site.

· Daily scanning for malicious software. Hackers can remotely break into Web servers and inject malicious code, or malware, on a Web site. As a result, simply landing on a compromised site can infect visitors by exploiting a Web browser vulnerability to install malware on the visitor’s PC. Sites that display the VeriSign Trust Seal gain daily protection from these so-called “drive-by downloads.” Through early detection and remediation of malware infections, Web site owners can protect their brands by avoiding blacklisting by browsers, search engines and antivirus software.

· Seal-in-search results. Coming soon, VeriSign Trust Seal customers will benefit from VeriSign’s integration with third parties such as TheFind, a vertical Internet shopping search engine that summarises information shoppers need to make choices, including details on authenticity and security. When a VeriSign Trust Seal customer appears in search results, the VeriSign trust mark will appear alongside its listing. Displaying the seal helps differentiate the site’s link among the other results while communicating to consumers that the link leads to a site trusted by VeriSign. In fact, TheFind reports that Internet users who see the VeriSign seal click through to that site 18.5 percent more often than those without the VeriSign seal.

· Leveraging the Internet’s No. 1 trust mark. The VeriSign seal can help lesser-known sites establish consumer confidence and credibility, which can lead to increased sales. Earlier versions of the VeriSign seal have been responsible for driving Web traffic uplifts ranging from 10 percent to 34 percent, with an average traffic increase of 24 percent.

The additional features of the VeriSign Trust Seal, including malware scanning, will soon be available with all of VeriSign’s trust products, including SSL and Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates. Existing VeriSign SSL customers will receive this added functionality at no extra cost.

“We’re a small company that isn’t widely known yet,” said Darren Shafae, founder and vice president of Proofreading.com, an Internet-based document proofreading service. “I think it’s doubly important for a smaller firm like ours to take advantage of the name recognition that VeriSign brings. When you’re up against better known competitors, every advantage helps, and the VeriSign name is a decisive advantage. Our number of completed registrations increased by 36 percent after we posted the VeriSign seal to show that our site was encrypted, and similarly, I believe that sites that don’t require SSL encryption can also benefit from a VeriSign seal of approval.”

Available next week for Web sites in Australia , the VeriSign Trust Seal can be purchased online at www.verisign.com/trust-seal/index.html, and is list priced at US$299 for a one-year license. The new seal will be available through VeriSign’s reseller partners later this year.

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