Ahhh, where do I start….As many of you may know I worked for ScanAlert, the Hacker Safe company, now owned by McAfee, for over 4 years. I was in charge of Business Development and created the growth that made Hacker Safe the most recognized trustmark on the Internet. I considered Hacker Safe my baby. I swear I lived and breathed Hacker Safe. Heck, I even drank the Hacker Safe wine (no kidding) that was prominent in our conference booth. Any of you who know me knew how passionate I was about good ole Hacker Safe. So you might think that I was excited about becoming part of a larger company interested in expanding our brand. Well, I think the letter from the former CEO of Hacker Safe says it best…
Personal Recommendation from the CEO of Scan Alert (HACKER SAFE) now McAfee
Cresta was employed by ScanAlert for over 4 years. She started as a member of our sales team, where she was consistently the number-one performer. She was promoted to various other roles, ending her time with us as the Senior Director of Business Development. In that role she was instrumental in developing, closing and executing several key partnerships including VeriSign and Microsoft, as well as developing and managing a successful affiliate marketing program.
Due to her outstanding success in achieving the goals assigned to her she was slated to be promoted to a Vice Present position in 2008. Unfortunately, due to the acquisition of ScanAlert by McAfee her position was made redundant.
During her last two years with ScanAlert Cresta reported directly to me. I always found her to be highly effective and dedicated to achieving excellence in her work. She was instrumental in building the success of ScanAlert, and was always a pleasure to work with. I give her my highest personal recommendation, and would certainly heir her again given the opportunity.
Should you need any further information regarding Cresta’s employment at ScanAlert please contact me directly.
Ken Leonard, CEO
So one day I was hard at work and then…hmmm we don’t need Cresta anymore. Needless to say I was shocked and upset. My life was turned upside down. There were calls with lawyers who wanted to represent me on a contigency basis, there were job offers that flooded in and (most importantly) there were numerous calls from the friends I had made over the years at various companies offering support and compassion (whom I wish to publicly thank now). So after many long discussions with my now current partners I decided to take the high road and start rebuilding.
For those of you who wonder where I have gone, I am now a partner with eCommerce Merchants Trade Association (www.ecommercemerchants.org) as well as the EVP of Business Development. I love what I am doing. Supporting my partners and my merchants so everyone is taken care of to the best of my ability. It is a perfect fit for me. Not to mention their is nothing better than being your own boss.
I really want you all to listen up because my goal is to help merchants improve their ecommerce business not to defame a company. I currently work with over 3000 merchants and even after all that hacker safe personally did to me I was going to partner with them because I felt they had the best product on the market to protect you and increase your conversion and I refuse to compromise when it comes to my customers.
Then I started getting calls from my partners that I had at hacker safe that are now my partners here at eCommerce Merchants letting me know they had yet to be paid, some were owed an upwards of over 15,000 dollars. They also informed me they had their lawyers send letters to McAfee demanding payment to no avail. I also launched an Affiliate Program while at hacker safe that really took off. When I left they turned the switch off and never paid my affiliates another dime…go figure. Then my merchants started calling me saying they were being harassed into doing an annual payment even though by paying monthly McAfee was making more from them. Then they changed their pricing to page views, tell me this…McAfee is a security company, not a marketing company and come on, give me a break how much does it really cost to serve an image off of Akamai???
So I got concerned. Clearly things were changing at McAfee’s Hacker Safe – and NOT for the better. I wanted our eCommerce Merchants to receive the best product and service available, but who should I work with? I knew I needed a security company as well as a seal for our merchants. So I reached out to Control Scan…I was still apprehensive about working with them because I didn’t believe in their web application scan. We had quite a few long discussions and I found out they have a breach protection product to where if you are compromised Control Scan will pay you up to 50,000 to deal with the breach. I know for a fact McAfee doesn’t have it because when I was there merchants were breached and I had to take the calls from my clients that now owe over 100,000 for their onsite audit etc..it was a nightmare. So when I found out the Control Scan offered this it eased much of my concern over working with them. On top of that I was able to negotiate a truly low rate for the service. I don’t think you can get this rate outside of my organization 🙂 so that made me really happy.
But wait, there’s more!
One of my merchants called me yesterday…www.gothamcityonline.com and showed me something that blew me away and is in no way best practices for a merchant. Once you see this I know that you will all agree you cannot continue to use the seal. Anyone who is currently using the McAfee seal on their site is actually paying McAfee to take their traffic and send it to their competitors. What?!! I know but check out this link. http://www.gothamcityonline.com, now click on the McAfee seal https://www.mcafeesecure.com/RatingVerify?ref=www.gothamcityonline.com , once you do this their are two different links that will take you to McAfee’s secure shopping portal which lists your competitors products. one is the “Attention Shoppers” the other is your company name directly under your URL…So tell me this, how is McAfee helping to increase your conversion if you are spending money for good traffic and they are directing it elsewhere? How is that good business practices?
Another thing that was brought to my attention is they are now messing with the integrity of organic search by influencing Yahoo!’s results with their Site Advisor product. This gorrilla marketing tactic has negatively affected two of my partners Endicia being one of them. I personally know them to conduct honest and professional business. Check this link out… http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0geu5ZsJpNIjTEBZSJXNyoA?p=endicia&y=Search&fr=yfp-t-501&ei=UTF-8
Funny how it isn’t in the sponsored listing though…I mean if protecting consumers was your main focus wouldn’t they have it everywhere? Of course not that would stop the sponsored dollars flowing into Yahoo! right? So much for unbiased reporting!
So in light of the above, I am now officially recommending that any ecommerce merchant interested in protecting their site and displaying a trust badge should use Control Scan. Whew, I said it!
If you’re ready to embrace the new “best-practice” in website security by using Control Scan, I would love to hear your results. Plus, you’re good friend Cresta has arranged for you to the ControlScan with Breach protection for 59.99 a month or w/out breach 49.99 a month. (FYI that is an AMAZING deal!) I would also love to hear from any one using either product and let me know their experiences and I will happily post them. I will be blogging about what I find that can truly help the small to midsize merchants, from best practices to top of the line technology.
I think that is enough for today! I wish everyone a terrific (and safe day, see you back here soon!
For those of you who would like to stay in touch with me my information is below, you can join our mailing list by visiting www.ecmta.org
EVP, Business Development