The Three Internet Trust Seals and What They Mean

by Tyler Bohlman


Last week I went into detail about SSL certificates and explained what they are, how they affect you, and why we here at use them.  SSL certificates are only one part of a bigger variety of icons that a website can put on their page in order to show you that they are a trustworthy site, and while SSL certificates are considered a trust icon there are things called “official trust seals” that websites use. These official trust icons are divided into three categories: Privacy, Security, and Business.

Privacy seals: are purchased in order to prove to you that a website has and displays their privacy policies for you, and takes them seriously. This can be confused with an SSL certificate because they both deal with privacy, but the main difference is that SSL certificates are computer algorithms that physically (so to speak) change code to ensure privacy, whereas a trust seal is there as a way of simply showing you that they have your best interests in mind by having privacy policies; the seal itself doesn’t actually DO anything. The two most popular brands of trust seals are Truste and Trust Guard. Both seals do the same thing, and both seals have certain qualifiers that have to be met in order to purchase them, the only main difference is price. Truste pricing can top out at over $2000 (!!) while Trust Guard is a lower, more reasonable, $300 or so.

Security Seals: Security seals are basically the SSL certificates that I explained earlier.  Aside from the Godaddy brand of SSL (which we use) there is also the VeriSign. Both of these do the exact same thing, and both of them come highly recommended for websites that deal with sensitive, personal information, the only real difference between the two is price. Another way that your website can be secure is by proving that the site has been scanned for malware. Most of the time these malware scans come with SSL certificates, but it is possible to buy a malware scanner in and of itself. McAfee is the most popular.

Business Seals: The most common (and practically only) seal that is used for this is the BBB verified seal.  This just tells you that the website you are doing business on is credited by the BBB and is a reputable and trustworthy business. There is an actual process to be BBB verified, and your company has to have a good reputation and has to be recognized by the BBB in order to actually get it.  This is one of the easiest and most telling icons a website can have.  As long as you maintain good business practices, treat your customers well, and have a good BBB rating you are eligible for this seal.

Trust seals and certificates are a big way for a website to show you that they care. It’s their way of proving to you that they take their business seriously, and therefore will take your business seriously.  If you need or want even more information on Trust seals I highly recommend going to the SSL Shopper homepage.

Build safe (and trustworthy) out there!