With online security and privacy quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of a user's browsing experience, controversies over spying on citizens and viruses that have plagued users for the past 14 months, the OTA Honor Roll has released its latest list of the most trustworthy consumer sites.
The Online Trust Alliance's 2014 Online Trust Honor Roll is the online world's industry standard for data privacy online.
Already, companies on the list are beginning to tout their efforts to maintain the privacy of their users and customers.
Twitter took top honors of the 800 sites examined for the second year in a row. The honor roll list includes just 29 percent of those sites. The 29 percent are noted for their best-practices approach in protecting user data.
ComScore is one of those companies on the honors list. Being a digital measuring company, the listing as one of the most trusted websites on the planet is a boost for any company, and especially one that deals in digital research.
"Strong privacy practices are at the core of all of comScore's operations, and we routinely engage with the broader privacy and legal communities to discuss and implement new best practices," stated Chris Lin, chief privacy officer at comScore. "We are pleased to be named to this year's OTA Honor Roll, and look forward to continuing conversations with OTA and other leading organizations about data privacy and consumer protection."
In gathering its list of best websites, OTA looked specifically at privacy practices and security apparatuses, including those being pushed by the Federal Trade Commission and OTA Mobile Privacy & Security Best Practices, as well as those from the National Telecommunication Information Administration (NTIA).
But with many fearful of the growing threats to websites and private information, OTA added a number of new criteria to the research, which looked at updated SSL server configurations and cryptographic administration, as well as email protection. That move came after reports of hackers getting access to email passwords and banking information in the past few months has prompted a more concerted effort to secure the back end of sites.
"Our 2014 Honor Roll recipients have demonstrated a commitment toward responsible management of sensitive consumer data and privacy," said Craig Spiezle, OTA executive director and president. "OTA commends the companies who made this list, but remains concerned about the failures of some of the world's largest online brands."
Gracing the top ten of the most trusted online retailers were Netflix, Sony Electronics, Ancestry.com, Walmart, Books-A-Million and others, giving users the ability to see where their most-frequented websites stack up against each other in online security.