E-commerce has been slowed down due to the fact that consumers find Internet an untrustworthy environment, and are not
willing to be guinea pigs of a new service and take unnecessary risks by giving their credit card number to an online service they
cannot really trust. Yet, if e-commerce is to thrive, creating consumer trust is a necessity -- or else there will be no transactions.
Not only money, but also private information about an individual customer has high value online: for service providers, it gives
invaluable data about customer, about her behaviour, likes and dislikes. This kind of information is key in understanding what
will and what will not sell on the Internet. In wrong hands, however, such intimate information may become a powerful weapon
against the intimacy, integrity and privacy of a given individual. Trust is needed from the customers in order to be willing to
indulge in taking that risk. This paper discusses the notion of trust from a semiotic point of view, seeking to understand and
analyse the signs of trustworthiness that the design of a Web site is sending.
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