Chapter 1 * INTRODUCTION 1. Background A few years after the commercialisation of the Internet, it became clear to businesses that the challenge for the coming years would be to win the trust of the consumers. First, consumers need to trust the Internet in general as a new means of communication. Second, consumers need to trust e-c- merce as a new way of transferring ownership or rights to use goods or services by making transactions through a computer-mediated network. Third, consumers need to trust the business practices of a specific company which sells goods or provides services online in order to choose and thus do business with that specific company instead of preferring to deal with an- 1 other one out of an almost unlimited number of options available online. Speaking about trust is comparable to speaking about love: one can talk for hours without reaching any definite conclusion. Trust is a feeling, so it 2 is really difficult to measure and to identify all the factors that affect it. However, as with love, there are some basic rules which, if followed, can at least increase the chances to enhance trust. These rules vary and transform together with the development of society. Nowadays, security and privacy seem to be at the top of the list of consumers’ concerns in online transac- * All the websites quoted in this book were last visited on 11 September 2008.