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BuySAFE launches beta of e-commerce rating tool

New free browser tool rates e-commerce sites for consumer safety.

Worried about identity theft and fraudulent e-commerce sites?

BuySAFE may have something for you. The company launched a free desktop application on Tuesday called buySAFE Shopping Advisor that offers ratings on U.S.-based e-commerce sites.

The sites are rated based on whether they are using valid SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption for data transmission, whether the sites are regularly inspected for security vulnerabilities, have a published privacy policy, and whether the merchant is bonded.

The integrated browser tool also offers a portal to 3,000 shopping sites where purchases are guaranteed with a bond of up to $25,000 and are protected with identity theft insurance for 30 days.

Arlington, Va.-based buySAFE partners with underwriters Liberty Mutual, Travelers, and ACE on these services.