About Our Testing

Safety Ratings

What are Safety Ratings?
Safety ratings indicate how safe it is to shop at a particular website. Simply put, the fuller the safety meter bar, the safer it is for you to shop at that site.

How are the Safety Ratings broken down?
Safety Scores are broken down into three criteria: cart function, delivery and security.

What is Cart Function?
Cart function determines how accurately the shopping cart adds up your dollar. It also indicates whether or not you can safely back out of (delete or remove) a purchase if you change your mind.

What is Delivery?
Delivery indicates which shipping companies are used. Reputable, fast companies such as UPS and FedEx will automatically register a higher rating.

What is Security?
Security indicates how safe your credit card information will be. It tests the encryption and the SSL (secure socket layers) technology, the industry-standard method for protecting all web communications.

How do I know what "Good" and "Bad" Safety Scores are?
When you look at the SafeShoppingNetwork Web Site Safety Score, you are seeing the total score that results from the addition of the individual Cart Function, Delivery and Security scores. The maximum Total Safety Score possible is 100 points.

If you look at the chart below, you can see how web sites generally score when tested for Safety Ratings. The SafeShoppingNetwork excludes those sites that score below 70 points from our listings. You can see from the chart that out of about 1000 sites tested for safety, almost 170 were automatically disqualified. We simply do not believe they are safe. You can also see that most sites earn Safety Scores between 75 and 90 points. The real champs, from our test data, are those that score 90 or above.

Why are these findings so important?
The cart function, delivery and security of the shopping cart are of extreme importance. Safety ratings indicate whether or not specific websites are safe to shop at. You can easily see for yourself how safe a site is by looking at the meter bar. Nowhere else on the Internet will you find such objective and technical findings. There are many well-known sites out there that have a good exterior but with very poor safety ratings. Some have absolutely no regard for the consumer's dollar. Our directory lists only the top rated sites.

Don't be fooled by "Awards" and "Citations".
As you travel the web, you'll inadvertently hit any number of websites that display different kinds of awards and citations for "good Usability". Those issuing such awards do not use software to objectively evaluate the website nor do they issue awards based on shopper evaluations. Safe Shopping Network does!

An Important Consumer Note
The SafeShoppingNetwork provides both general and detailed test scores to all listed web site managers. We also provide them with the tools to compare their scores to other web sites in their listing categories and, when requested, we provide them with consulting assistance so that they may improve their scores and their web site presentations.

The SafeShoppingNetwork commitment is to continuous Internet quality improvement.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve our test technologies, our score reporting, and web site quality.