Posted September 28, 2007 3:07 pm by with 16 comments

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According to Internet Retailer, saw a 5.5% increase in revenue after implementing the HackerSafe logo into its site. They measured the increase with the use of a 30 day split A/B test.

This reminds me of a few things I have learned about HackerSafe and similar services.

1) Pricing is negotiable. paid $15,000/year for this service, but I am not sure why. My guess is that the average site can get HackerSafe or a competitors’ service for $500/year if you negotiate. HackerSafe’s largest competitor offered us the service for free for a year at one point just because they were trying to take business away.

2) Figuring out where to place the seal is tricky. HackerSafe makes claims about how much improvement you can see in conversion when using their service. However, any increase you see will largely be determined by how you position the seal on the site.

3) Companies like HackerSafe are good options for helping with the internal auditing now required by Visa/Mastercard.

4) HackerSafe has not always caught all of the security loopholes on our sites. On the other hand, they do better than I really expected. For example, they detected some SQL injection exposure that we had.

5) If you are going to use the HackerSafe seal, you have to manage your account so that they do not turn it off. This sometimes can get quite tedious. For example, in some cases, it may require you to upgrade software before you really wanted to. You may disagree with the alleged exposure they claim you have, but you really have no recourse other than cancelling the service.

So is this kind of auditing worth it? In my opinion, the jury is still out. First of all, you can sleep easier with their auditing, but you are fooling yourself if you think you are completely invulnerable to hackers. Secondly, our tests have never shown a significant increase in conversion when using the HackerSafe seal.

  • Jordan McCollum

    Greg—nice article; I like hearing about the “little touches” that help to improve a website’s effectiveness.

    But as a user of, I wish they’d do a bit more. I’ve actually complained to them about how user UNfriendly and slow loading it is. It’s faster for me to drive across town than try to navigate and wait for their site.

  • 15k/yr? That is ridiculous. We paid 500/yr for ours. Hope more competitors come out so Hackersafe will come down on their rates.

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  • Interesting that adding a HackerSafe logo at the footer of their site increased sales. Most customers never even scroll down that far.

    While placing a HackerSafe button (or a competitors) will surely increase consumers trust in ordering, i’m not totally convinced that the HackerSafe button accounted for the increase A/B testing or not.

    The placement is too ineffective, IMHO to be play any effective role in increasing conversions.

  • David Eaves

    My client got had over big time, he is paying about $2,000 a year to be made hackersafe, them getting listed in the PR8 directory was a nice little bonus.

  • There appears to be something seriously wrong here on the pricing front. $500 to $2000 and the whopping $15,000. Why is this so? The early bird advantage? Just how good will a $500 service be?

  • 15k per year is outrageous! We got a quote of $500 per yr and even that I said was too much.

  • I remember that HackerSafe initially quoted us something like $11K based on number of sites and servers. It is possible that has a configuration that warrants the higher costs.

    That being said, if you run a single site on a single server, it is clear from the comments that $500 is probably the most you should be paying.

  • $15,000 seems way too much to pay, but’s experience is further proof of how important gaining the trust of potential customers can be.

    Greg I’m surprised you didn’t see any increase in conversions after using Hacker Safe. I’m not using it myself so I have no personal data to compare, but I think you’re the first person I’ve seen who didn’t improve conversions with the seal.

    Where in your design did you display it?

  • That’s a good ROI in my opinion, but Greg since you mentioned the price is negotiable, I think could have done better or get a better deal

  • Nothing is hacker safe. Nothing.

  • This shows how everybody scare of hackers.

  • We tested the seal in several places without success. Here are some theories why:

    1) The seal does not look that great and in my opinion, looks amateurish on a site.
    2) The seal may actually do the reverse of what is intended by reminding the customers for the potential of problems.
    3) A well-designed site already reassures a customer that the possibility of hacking or other problems is low.
    4) Putting the seal somewhere takes away to put something else in that spot. It could remove your ability to advertise a sale, etc. You either give up prime real estate for the seal or end up putting it somewhere where no one sees it anyway.

  • Thanks Greg. All your theories make sense as possible causes. I agree the logo does look amateurish and if your site is already designed well it can establish trust without the seal. I agree too about the opportunity cost of using the logo where you might be able to do something else that would lead to conversions.

    I can see your point about the seal reminding people of potential problems, but I would tend to think that wouldn’t reflect poorly on your site since by having the seal you are showing potential customers you’re anticipating more than they are. But I can see your point.

    I’ll have to keep my eye out for others who have had similar experiences as you did. I’m sure there are others who didn’t see any improvement in conversions displaying the hacker safe logo. Just because I haven’t noticed doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

  • thanks