The current ease with which accreditation and trustmarks can be copied and illegitimately redeployed serves to degrade their value for end users and businesses alike. More must be done to control and manage their distribution Global Brands Protection Ltd. (GBP) warns today.
Marc Howard, GBP’s co-founder, said: “In a world of online delivery, in which it is near impossible to know what lies beyond a glossy website, accreditation and trustmarks can help to engender trust in end users, allowing businesses to demonstrate to prospects that they meet the relevant professional standards. The challenge is that, as it stands, almost every trustmark, reseller symbol and accreditation logo can be simply copied with a standard ‘right-click’ or lifted from a website’s source code. There are very few safeguards currently in place to ensure that someone cannot simply copy and paste a trustmark onto their own website.
“Taking for example certifications such as ISO 9001 or PCI DSS. If an unscrupulous website can readily copy and wear these badges, as is currently the case, how can someone know whether or not an accreditation or certification mark on any given website is the genuine article?”
The answer, according to Marc, lies in the live linking of such badges, a step which would allow end users to quickly determine their legitimacy, whilst also granting accrediting bodies the power to control the distribution and use of trustmarks in real time.
“It’s vital that accreditation bodies take steps to secure and monitor the use of their trustmarks to ensure that they don’t fall in to the wrong hands,” he continued. “Brand protection tool Yoshki monitors, protects and manages the deployment of images and logos by assigning them with live unique links, which can be distributed and, if necessary, withdrawn at any time. Yoshki’s simple validation mechanic allows the end user to obtain an instant understanding as to whether they’re on an authorised website without having their browsing experience distorted. For example, when the user visits a website they’ll be invited to click on a version of your logo to validate the site they’re currently on. Once clicked, Yoshki’s powerful Validation engine kicks in and checks the incoming URL against a back end database of authorised websites allowed to display that particular logo.”
Spreckley Partners Ltd.