VeriSign Index Shows Moderate Consumer Trust of Internet

By March 25, 2010

Internet infrastructure provider VeriSign, Inc has a ubiquitous presence in the Web due to its familiar domain verifier the Trust Seal. In an effort to further combat online fraud, they have introduced the VeriSign Internet Tru

st Index, which uses statistics to understand how people place trust in the Internet.

These findings were released in the semi-annual report released this month (PDF), all based on a basic scale of 0-100, with zero representing no trust at all and one hundred representing absolute trust. VeriSign scores 61.5 as a moderate level of trust.

In general, more frequent (three or more times per week) and longer (an average of eight years) use results in a consumer that trusts the Internet and technology more. Either parameter's lower end scores less than 40, while the highest parameter exceeds 80. However, since usage levels outpace trust levels, this indicates that consumers' trust must be earned.

Another characteristic of these users is that they are more familiar with Internet risks and are most concerned about them. Less than 25 percent of the time do lower-trust infrequent users take security precautions like installing virus protection, checking for security indicators, or making purchases only from well-known sites. More than half of longtime users (over seven years) practice these precautions.

Users who look for security indicators have the highest levels of trust. These indicators include security seals, the SSL padlock and green address bar.

Both frequent and infrequent users agree that the amount of information online is overwhelming, and that no data is safe from hackers.

As of this month, the VeriSign Internet Trust Index is 61.5, indicating that online businesses have not yet gained the complete trust of the Internet public.

VeriSign's research aims to uncover trust distribution, including levels of Internet riskawarenesess, how consumer perception affects behavior, and the penetration of fraud and identity theft.

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