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Chapter 7. The Web Site > Assuring Reasonable Confidence in the Site's Privacy ...

Assuring Reasonable Confidence in the Site's Privacy and Security

Privacy

If site owners track site visitors and collect personal behavior data, then site design etiquette requires that visitors be told about this from the beginning. Site owners should tell potential visitors about the method that they use to collect site behavior data and how the collected information will be used. For example, if “cookies” or temporary ID numbers are used to personalize, the designer should inform the site visitor by providing a site personalization link prominently on the home page and any other frequently visited pages. (Cookies are files that are created and remain attached to a user's browser.) In some cases, full disclosure by site owners is not just a matter of etiquette but a question of legality. For example, the use of cookies is outlawed in many countries, as we discuss in Chapter 11.

Security

Security is a paramount concern for e-business Web site design. Visitors have more confidence in the security of professional-looking sites. Site performance also reveals the level of security (Bouch, et al., 2000). Security technologies, such as SSL, are crucial, and the availability of a link to a “security practices” page helps to reassure visitors. For transaction pages, designers should provide confirmation pages that are easily printable and should remind users to print pages as receipts. Contact information including address, e-mail, and phone number should be prominently displayed. When designing the information needed to complete a transaction, it is important not to ask for more information than is absolutely necessary.

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