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One of the best known soccer clubs in the world is tackling the phishing threat and has placed a penalty on the head of those who might try to con their fans on the web. As the annual InfoSecurity Europe show kicks off, so Manchester United has launched the implementation of Extended Validation (EV) Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates on the Man U website in order to provide premier league protection for online fans.

The official Online Manchester United Megastore, as you might expect from such a high profile commercial sporting success, is more than just a fanboy website. It is where fans can buy tickets and merchandising online, learn about the latest club news and access up-to-the-minute match information as well as get to listen to their favourite players. It is also, of course, something of a magnet to cyber-criminals who would love to get their hands on a slice of the lucrative action by any means possible.

Which is where the use of VeriSign EV SSL Certificates comes in, providing a visible level of protection from Internet scams. Browsers including Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) and the latest beta version of Firefox 3 display these certificates by triggering the address bars to change colour, to green, when a site is recognised as being safe. A recent Tec-Ed study even found that as many as 93 percent of users feel more secure doing business on a site with just such a green EV bar.

Stewart Rowe, Head of IT for the Man U store site developers, Kitbag, says "One of our main challenges has always been to ensure that our customers feel confident when it comes to making payment. Our business is e-commerce, and we know that the right combination of usability and security is fundamental to a Web site's success. We're always keen to adopt new technologies, and Extended Validation SSL from VeriSign has allowed us to make security easier and more visible to our customers - anything that helps us build trust online is a must. Online fraud and the risk of identity theft are very real threats to consumers so the introduction of Extended Validation is a giant leap forward in terms of Web security. Like Manchester United, any e-commerce site should have the best defence in place in order to keep winning."

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