The Problem With Website Seal Programs

According to, 90% of adults are concerned about piracy, and 88% avoid companies that don’t protect their privacy. Because of this, companies participate in website seal programs to prove their validity and, in turn, gain their consumer’s trust and business.

In order to earn these seals, companies typically have to go through several privacy and website infrastructure checks. This process is set up to ensure there are minimal threats to a customer’s personal information. Once the website passes, the website is approved to display the seal’s artwork.

The security problem isn’t in the seal process – its the seal’s artwork. According to our online survey, conducted on our behalf by Harris Poll in January, among 1,000 smartphone users (18+), almost half of smartphone owners (48%) believe that marks such as SSL certificates and a verified symbol are signs that an online retailer is genuine.

However, without an authentication feature built directly into the artwork, anyone with a mouse can drag and drop the trusted images onto their own website – without a doubt, counterfeiters know and actively practice this. 

71% of smartphone users stated that merchant websites are at least somewhat capable of preventing online purchases of counterfeit merchandise. But is displaying an easily duplicated image all they can do? We don’t think so. 

Here at DSS, we have taken a strong stance against phishing and counterfeit websites, which is exactly why we created AuthentiSite. By building a seal with a non-transferable authentication feature, and backing it with cloud-based security look-ups, DSS’s AuthentiSite solution bridges the gap between seal programs and actual website authentication.

For more information on how brand owners and consumers alike can curb the issue of counterfeit websites and product, please visit

Research methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Document Security Systems, Inc. from January 2-8th, 2014 among 1,015 U.S. smartphone owners ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please call the DSS Corporate Office at 585-325-3610.


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