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Scan Alert’s Hacker Safe – Is It Worth It?

by Justin Palmer - September 14th, 2007

First off, this is not a sponsored post.

However, it will speak very favorably about Scan Alert’s HackerSafe service based on an experience I had with one of my clients.Basically, there are 3 purported benefits for using the Scan Alert logo and scanning service.

  1. Customer’s who see logo feel more secure when checking out, which will increase conversions
  2. Scanning exposes loopholes in site where hackers can penetrate
  3. As a deterrent to future hackers who see the logo

In my experience with one particular business, I didn’t necessarily see a noticeable improvement in conversion (although we didn’t a/b test, so maybe there was). The biggest benefit to us came from the vulnerability scanning they do.

Back in August of 2007, this company had an serious database breach from their website. They weren’t sure exactly how it happened, but the hackers were able to see customer contact information. Fortunately, the company did not store credit card info. Regardless, having to email hundreds of customers telling them their information was compromised was a PR disaster.

Unfortunately, this small company did not have the internal resources to implement a full security audit on the website. They signed up for the Hacker Safe service, and the vulnerability scanning exposed several serious problem areas where information could be hacked in to.Basically it comes down to this.

For the small to medium size e-commerce site, Scan Alert’s service is a great low cost security initiative. (I believe the annual fee is somewhere around $2000). While it won’t necessarily catch everything, most of the major issues will be found out.

Be sure to leave a comment about your experience with HackerSafe or any online security issues in general. 

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6 Responses to “Scan Alert’s Hacker Safe – Is It Worth It?” by Justin Palmer

  1. 25 Ways to Improve Your Shopping Cart > Palmer Web Marketing Blog Says:

    [...] Reminder: Assure your visitors your website is secure and trustworthy. Dispaly emblems such as the HackerSafe logo or the BBB Online logo. Also, let your visitors know their personal information will be kept private [...]

  2. 25 Ways to Improve Your Checkout Process > Palmer Web Marketing Blog Says:

    [...] Hacker Safe Logos: Services from HackerSafe or Control Scan can be a great way to boost confidence during checkout. For more info on Hacker Safe, check this post. [...]

  3. rachel Says:

    I have a small jewelry site and I don’t have the time or experience to do all the security things that I need — pci, SSL and so on. I looked at scanalert but they only so one thing and they were expensive!!!! I checked out where I get my SSL from — Comodo and they had the same service about about $100 bucks! who can beat that. It costs me in time than to go off and have lots of different security vendors. I need a one stop shop and Comodo worked best for me.

  4. Peter Says:

    Scan Alert does provide an interesting service – I have seen as many people recommend them for the logo as for the actual security scan.

    Security Scanning is a first step in securing a web site, it will not pick up everything and often results in false positives. Nothing can beat knowledgable human eyes spending time to interpret the results and provide recommendations.

    But then again I may be biased. :)

    The leading vulnerability scanning tools are open source and i have no doubt many of these online scanning services use a customised Nessus scan to build their results.

  5. Marc Says:

    It’s not 100% for my site I was told Scan Alert would cost $3,300 a year for my pageviews. I receive around 5k unique users a day so my pageviews are up there and so are the costs but I know myself and even if it is not 100% safe I still feel safer buying from a website with the seal. I still haven’t purchased it yet but I am 90% sure I will for one year and see if it increases conversions.

  6. James Says:

    I’ve used HackerSafe for many years. At $19.99/month it has been a great deal especially since they scan and provide PCI compliance reports for that price. I just found out that they are likely taking business away from me. After 2 or 3 clicks on their logo you can end up searching for the same products I sell, or any other products, and likely end up buying from my competition. I’m dropping HackerSafe for an alternative.

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