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JIPS 2010 6.4 Article 1

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Prod. Code: JIPS2010-6.4Art1

Consumer Perception of Web Site Security Attributes

Gerald V. Post, University of the Pacific – Stockton CA, USA, Jpost@Pacific.edu
Suzanne B. Walchli, University of the Pacific – Stockton CA, USA, Swalchli@Pacific.edu


It is known that consumer e-commerce decisions are affected by trust and the perception of security. Two relatively new aspects of Web security have not yet been studied, but have important consequences to site designers and society: the paymentcard-industry hacker-tested badge, and enhanced SSL certificates. The hacker-tested badge is an icon that can be added to a Web site. The enhanced security certificates cost hundreds of dollars with no significant added security, but  feature a new interface notification. The study results show the enhanced certificate does not increase trust like the hacker-tested logo. The logo result is potentially hazardous because fraudulent sites can easily add counterfeit icons. The perception of site security is also enhanced by the usability of the site and the presence of third-party checkout. By having respondents evaluate actual Web sites, this study goes beyond existing work based on site prototypes and considers these new security elements in the context of a comprehensive structural equation model that depicts the interaction of vendor knowledge,  security perception, and intention to purchase.