TRUSTe Survey Findings Indicate Majority of Small Businesses Neglect Vital Privacy Measures

A recent survey from TRUSTe revealed that 56% of small business owners with web sites said that they do not have a privacy policy on their web site. And one-third of those who did have one – “cut and pasted” it from somewhere else, and one quarter wrote it themselves. The survey also reports that 30% of small businesses don’t know if their websites were PCI compliant, and 21% don’t know if they have encrypted pages on their web site.

According to the National Small Business Association, small businesses constitute 99.7% of all U.S. companies, signifying an enormous need for online trust and safety on the part of both the small business and the consumer. With these shaky privacy policies on their websites, small businesses create a security issue for their consumers. It may also hurt their online sales. Consumer discomfort online can be a huge pain point in online sales, according to recent research:

  • 36% of consumers claimed they would not use their credit or debit card to make a purchase with a Web merchant they didn’t know. (Ponemon Institute, 2007)
  • While merchants anecdotally report that approximately 20-30% of online shopping carts are abandoned, research conducted by Marketing Sherpa actually found a 58% average abandonment rate.
  • 49% of consumers abandon online shopping carts due to fear of identity theft; 53% worry about sharing personal information.
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