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Getting A Cyber-Seal Of Approval

The benefits of having a privacy policy posted on your site and where you can get one

You're about to put up your e-commerce site, and you want people to feel good about the security of your site when they arrive. So what do you do?

At eTrust, you can learn all about privacy policies and online security, and join their program by creating a privacy policy, filling out their form and paying an annual licensing fee based on your company's annual revenue. You'll then be contacted by their application processing department to verify everything. Once you're accepted, you can then place the eTrust logo or "trustmark" on your home page, which immediately tells visitors you adhere to the eTrust established privacy principles and agree to comply with their oversight and consumer resolution process.

At the Better Business Bureau's site, you can become a member by locating your local chapter on their site. Once you join locally, you're allowed to use the BBB logo, "flame" and seal on your advertising, including on your Web site, to show that you're a member. You can also visit the site to contact local chapters in order to check out a company or file a complaint about a company. (They don't have a national directory yet.)

Gaining the trust of potential customers is key to doing business online, and being part of organizations that help enforce standards can put customers' minds at ease.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.