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June 10, 2009

Privacy You Can Trust, TRUSTe Makes Protecting Your Privacy Its Business

Filed under: Start-up Companies Reviews — admin @ 9:15 am

With more people using the internet in this day and age, online privacy can be a very serious issue. Furthermore, within the United States and the rest of the Western world, adults are using the internet more for getting their tidbits of news and current events and their children are using the internet to socialize with their peers, get help with problems with their homework, play games, or download music. In today’s society, it is estimated that over 87% of children are tech savvy and spend hours on the internet. This can pose problems too. Children may not always make rational or intelligent decisions online. This can be a very serious problem, especially if your children disclose physical information, such as your address or financial information. What can be even more dangerous is if your child arranges to meet someone that he or she has met on the internet. Many teens can also be addicted to the internet and can be spending all their time on the internet and start shunning friends and family, neglecting homework or other obligations. If these are any of your problems, well, now there is a service out there that can help you with these issues and other problems as well. Introducing TRUSTe, a nonprofit company that is dedicated to helping both businesses and consumers manage and maintain their online privacy and security.

TRUSTe also has programs that you can download to manage all your online problems dealing with privacy or security. There is a variety of programs you can download with different prices for the programs. These programs are mainly for e-commerce or e-business people. The first program also provides a service that costs $49.00 per month. This is the basic service, which provides security and a trustworthy seal for people who have an online store or service. With this service, the online businessman can also add the TRUSTe seal onto its website. This program, which has a $49.00 per month provides the user with TRUSTe’s basic services, which include the TRUSTe Verified Seal, which is a seal that is placed on the user’s e-commerce website and makes the website more apt to generate more sales. This service also provides the online business owner with TRUSTe’s Easy Privacy Policy Generator. This is a program that can easily build a privacy policy that will fit the needs of the respective business owners who subscribe to this service.

The next service that TRUSTe provides costs $249.00, but this price, however, does not specify if it is a one-time fee, a monthly fee, or a yearly fee. This service has more options available than the above mentioned service. This service provides the user with TRUSTe’s more involved services without TRUSTe’s seal. One of the services with this program is the Starter Privacy Policy, which is a template that the user can use to put together a privacy policy that is up to the best standards of the industry. The other service put out by this program is the Online Management, which gives the user a platform to manage his policy and his TRUSTe account in one place by using the TRUSTe Online Portal.

The third service package that TRUSTe provides its users is their best service package wich has a yearly fee of $649.00. This program offers the user a Certified Privacy Policy with the TRUSTe Seal, which displays the TRUSTe certified seal on the user’s website and also certifies the user’s privacy policy and has the privacy policy to be endorsed by TRUSTe. This service is also ideal for non e-commerce businesses. This program also provides the user with One-to-One Privacy Consultations with TRUSTe and allows the subscriber to contact TRUSTe’s trained privacy experts about their privacy policies.

If you look at the Businesses Tab on the website, you will also find useful information about how businesses and enterprises can use TRUSTe’s services and services to generate more business on their e-commerce websites. TRUSTe also makes it known that it respects the EU’s Safe Harbor Policy, which can provide the user with world-class tools to do business worldwide.

TRUSTe, however, is not only for online business people, but for the online consumer as well. If you click on the Consumer Tab, you will find a whole wealth of information about online safety and privacy protection tips for the online consumers. The first thing on the list in the Consumer Tab is a PDF file which explains in great detail on how to protect you and your family’s online privacy and security. This instructional PDF file also educates parents and teachers how to protect their children from very real online threats, such as pedophiles, who lurk online for children who might be gullible enough to arrange to meet them at some strange places. Most child abductions that are perpetrated by strangers are of pedophiles who lured their victims from an online chat. This is very important information for anyone with children or deals with children and the internet. You can also click on the Work and Play With Confidence link and you will also find more useful information on this subject. This website also has under the Consumer Tab a whole list of links with tips on how you can protect your privacy online. These links can teach you about spyware, which is a program that you can naively download and it will spy on you every time you are online. Spyware is especially dangerous, because it can make you prone to identity theft by gleaning sensitive personal financial information, such as your social security number, credit or debit card numbers, etc. This link will also teach you about anti-spyware and how to keep it up to date. Other links are available to teach you about viruses and antivirus programs, pop-up blockers and managing your cookies as well.

You also have the TRUSTe Blog, where you can share information on how to police yourself on the internet. You can also get good information from this tab.

TRUSTe is based in San Francisco, California and was founded in 1997 and is a private corporation. The company has three people on its management team and 13 people on its board of directors. The three people on TRUSTe’s management are Fran Maier, CEO; Chris Russell, COO; and Maureen Cooney, CPO and Vice President of Public Policy.

Fran Maier joined TRUSTe as the company’s CEO in 2001 and is a great asset to the company. Ms. Maier has over 15 years of experience in internet trust and privacy. During Ms. Maier’s tenure at TRUSTe, the company grew and certified over 3000 websites, some of which are big household names; which include Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Facebook, and the NFL. Ms. Maier is responsible for growing TRUSTe from just a service website to a service that provides downloadable software to protect both businesses’ and consumers’ privacy online. Ms. Maier is also a cofounder of Match.com, where she set the precedent for online privacy in the online dating industry. Ms. Maier is also an activist on the issue of online privacy and security, and travels around to give speeches about how people can protect their privacy on the internet. Ms. Maier even went before the US Congress, Federal Trade Commission, and the US Department of Commerce.

As TRUSTe’s COO, Chris Russell has brought to the company over 20 years of experience in growth initiatives for both IT and internet based service companies. Mr. Russell’s experience also includes working for several major companies, such as WageWorks and ArcSite. Mr. Russell also worked for the Oracle Corporation, where he played an important role in launching their On Demand business.

Maureen Cooney is also a great asset to TRUSTe as the company’s CPO and Vice President of Public Policy. She brings to the company deep experience in privacy policy making and has a career in the privacy and security protection for companies in both the private and public sectors that spans over 20 years. Ms. Cooney also worked at the US Department of Homeland Security as the agency’s leading privacy expert, and in her position at the DHS, she made numerous appearances before Congress to discuss privacy issue.

TRUSTe has one major investor, Accel Partners, which is a global vc firm that has been around for over 25 years and has offices in the United States, London, China, and India. The Accel Team is dedicated to the success of the vc firm’s portfolio companies. All of the members of Accel’s team are experienced in various key management positions in the tech industry and also have a great deal of experience in venture development. Accel’s entrepreneurs can benefit from the experience that Accel’s partners have to offer. Some companies in Accel’s portfolio include Facebook, Real, UUNET, JBoss, BitTorrent, the Foundry Network, Riverbed, Glam.com, and others.

For more information about TRUSTe, click here.

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