The numbers prove that online consumers remain wary of online identity theft phishing schemes and other fraudulent activity. While it's smart for consumers to look for these security badges before forking over their purchasing information to an unknown online entity, not all security badges are created equal. Some have a much stronger reputation than others, while others may be more lax in how they verify the trustworthiness of an online retailer. And consumers can't rule out the possibility of a forged security badge on a malicious website. With a little attention to detail, though, consumers can use security badges to ensure they're only working with trustworthy businesses. Here's a guide to help you out:
Sizing up the Security BadgesThere are a wide range of security badges out there, with some more popular than others. According to the Bamyard Institute, there are four online security badges that are recognized and trusted by at least 10 percent of online consumers. Norton is the clear leader in online security, with 35.6 percent of consumers recognizing and trusting the security badge. McAfee Secure's badge is next at 22.9 percent. Tied at 13.2 percent are the TRUSTe and BBB Accreditation security badges. But these aren't the only security badges out there. Businesses may display a wide range of valid security badges used to confirm their reputation as a trusted online retailer.
If you have certain security badges you know and trust, look for these first. Then familiarize yourself with other security badges that you might not recognize -- knowing these badges will help you out in the future when doing business with different online retailers.