The Wall Street Journal writes that with the introduction of an anti-phishing tool in Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, small businesses might be hurt. Microsoft’s new tool colors IE 7’s web site address bar green, if the sites you are visiting is deemed as legitimate. Those it’s not sure about, the bar is white.
This legitimacy is determined by the web site having the new “extended validation secure sockets layer certificate” (EV SSL) on their web sites, as opposed to the easier to get secure sockets layer certification that many web sites already have.
The EV SSL, issued by a certificate authority, is harder to get than the current SSL certificate. The WSJ reports that guidelines for this new certificate were established by an industry group (CA/Browser forum). For now the forum does not include sole proprietorships, general partnerships and individuals because forum members could not agree on the criteria for evaluating these businesses. (Read more about SSL here).
It appears that going forward, businesses that are currently excluded will be included once the criteria can be established.
Now that I’ve educated you a bit – what does this mean to you?
The focus of the story, Aunt Joy’s Personalized Christmas Stockings was concerned that since her business does not have the new EV SSL certificate and thus won’t have a green bar when people visit her web site, that this will reduce sales. I don’t think she has any thing to worry about.
If you have a great web site, build loyal customers, have excellent content and maybe a few other things, visitors are going to buy and trust your site. If you really want to get some “seal of approval” one thing to do is get 3rd party validation from the Better Business Bureau, Scan Alert’s Hacker Safe service or some other similar service.
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