Travel company boosts web sales with 'green light' security system


Travel company boosts web sales with 'green light' security system

Warwick Ashford

Bogus websites designed to steal personal information have made online shoppers wary of visiting unknown sites, says online travel company Quickrooms.

The company has invested in technology that gives visitors a visual indication that the site is genuine after trials showed a 7% increase in sales.

Quickrooms was using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates from Verisign, but decided to upgrade to the Extended Validation (EV) version after a six week trial.

In the trial, Quickbooks ran half of its servers using SSL and half using EV SSL to find out whether it made any difference to the number of bookings visitors made.

The green address bar that EV SSL displays in most browsers gives users confidence that it is not a phishing site, said Stephen Mills, product manger at Quickrooms.

"EV SSL helps us provide our customers with the most trusted online experience as possible," he said.

The EV version of SSL includes a window that displays the name of the website owner as well as the supplier of the security certificate.

Most users (93%) prefer to shop with sites displaying the green bar, according to a survey by Tec Ed Research.

Some 77% of respondents said they would hesitate to shop at a site that previously showed the green EV bar, but no longer did.

EV SSL was introduced in mid-2008 by browser developers and SSL Certification Authorities to combat user fears that online transactions were insecure.

The standard works with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Mozilla's Firefox 3, Opera 9.5, Safari 3.2, Google Chrome and Flock 2.0.

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