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Background Details About the WebTrust Seal

What is WebTrust?

WebTrust is a seal awarded to web sites that consistently adhere to certain business standards established by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA.ca) and the American Institute of Chartered Public Accountants (AICPA). Now globally recognized, these standards can be in the areas of privacy, security, business practices/transaction integrity, availability, confidentiality or non-repudiation.

Why was WebTrust developed?

WebTrust was developed to addresses consumer and business concerns over privacy and security. WebTrust has evolved to also address the inability of businesses and consumers to confirm the legitimacy of companies offering goods and services over the web.

Backed by the CICA and AICPA, WebTrust is the only Internet seal that can give web-goers true confidence that certain businesses can be trusted with consumers' (and business') most important asset and prized possession: their private information. What makes WebTrust different from all other Internet seals? Independent verification is the key to WebTrust.

Unlike any other Internet seal that claims to protect consumer or business privacy, WebTrust is the only seal administered by a third-party. That means when you see a WebTrust Seal on a web site, the owners did not get a seal simply by paying for the privilege. They had to meet standards set by the professional accounting bodies of Canada and the United States (CICA & AICPA). And the site is audited for WebTrust compliancy at least every 6 months.

The owner of a web site who has been granted a WebTrust Seal believes that privacy (or security) is so important to their clients and business partners, that they have:

... hired specially trained and licensed WebTrust auditors to review their online procedures (particularly in the area of privacy)

... maintained the highest business standards found on the Internet

... agreed to have their online procedures regularly audited to make sure the standards are maintained.

WebTrust Seals can be awarded to web sites if they've consistently maintained those high standards in the areas of security, business practices/transaction integrity, availability, confidentiality and non-repudiation.

Who are the leaders in WebTrust certification?

Bennett Gold LLP, Chartered Accountants has consistently led the field in WebTrust:

2001 - BGCA chosen by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants as their own WebTrust auditors: CICA.ca.

2000 - BGCA issues the world's first WebTrust Seal to a dedicated charity portal: Charity.ca.

2000 - BGCA issues the world's first WebTrust Seal to an online computer retailer: ShopCSC.com.

1999 - BGCA issues the world's first WebTrust Seal to an Internet casino: GalaxiWorld.com.

1998 - BGCA issues Canada's first WebTrust Seal and the world's first WebTrust Seal for a celebrity - RocketRoger.com, the official online store for New York Yankee, Roger Clemens.

Is there more than one WebTrust Seal to choose from?

There are six WebTrust Seals. To be granted any WebTrust Seal, a firm must demonstrate that it has consistently maintained high standards, set by the CICA and AICPA. The six areas are:

... Privacy - adhering to the strictest rules for collecting, storing and using client/customer information. Benefit to you: demonstrates that your business is trustworthy.

... Security - following the most appropriate and current safety measures, technologies and procedures. Benefit to you: gives online/offline customers piece of mind.

... Business Practices/Transaction Integrity - reducing fears that information can be stolen during an online transaction, and that the transaction will be completed successfully. Benefit to you: reduces your customers' fears/apprehension of buying online.

... Availability - maintaining the service levels outlined in your agreements with customers and clients. Benefit to you: strengthens your attractiveness as an Application Service Provider (ASP).

... Confidentiality - demonstrating the ability to protect business-to-business information. Benefit to you: gives your business customers confidence in your ability to exchange information online.

... Non-Repudiation - confirming customers' identity and ability to pay for their online purchases. Benefit to you: protects your revenues.

Who has a WebTrust Seal on their site?

A master list of WebTrust-certified sites is maintained by the accounting profession here: WebTrust.org/abtseals.htm


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