Protect Yourself from an Unsafe Website
BackgroundNasir is a journalist with Dundun media, he receives tons of emails everyday but whenever he gets an email with a link that says ‘click here’. He has to take extra measures like finding out if the url is authentic , likewise the sender.
With more people storing personal information on their computers, it has never been more important to protect yourself from internet predators looking to gain access to your files. One of the many ways they can do this is by attacking your computer or trying to gather your information from an infected or malicious website you may visit, even if only once. The best thing you can do is to avoid malicious websites altogether
Here are the most prevalent tell-tale signs of a threatening website and some ways that you can protect yourself:
- Never click on a link embedded in an email. Even if sent from someone you trust, always type the link into your browser
- Use your common sense. Does a website look strange to you? Is it asking for sensitive personal information? If it looks unsafe, don’t take the risk.
- Look for signs of legitimacy. Does the website list contact information or some signs of a real-world presence. If doubtful, contact them by phone or email to establish their legitimacy.
- Read the URL carefully. If this is a website you frequent, is the URL spelt correctly? Often times, phishers will set up websites almost identical to the spelling of the site you are trying to visit. An accidental mistype may lead you to a fraudulent version of the site.
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Is the website offering you a product or service at an unheard of price? Or maybe they are promising you a huge return on investment? If the offer looks too good to be true, trust your instincts. Do some research to find reviews or warnings from other users.
You should also always be on the lookout for the clues and telltale hints that you are on a malicious website. After all, it is by smart people noticing something wrong and reporting it that the above tools can do their job.
Things to look for in a secure website
One such sign to look for is in the URL of the website. A secure website’s URL should begin with “https” rather than “http”. The “s” at the end of “http” stands for secure and is using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection. Your information will be encrypted before being sent to a server.
- THE LOCK ICON
Another sign to look for is the “Lock” icon that is displayed somewhere in the window of your web browser. Different browsers may position the lock in different places, but a few examples of what it may look like can be found here:
Clicking on the LOCK icon will give you detailed information on the security status of this website
With Firefox, the LOCK icon may not be displayed directly. Clicking on the site’s icon next to the URL should reveal the LOCK icon and the secure verification
Clicking on the LOCK icon will give you detailed information on the security status pf this website.
Be sure to click on the “lock” icon to verify that a website is trustworthy. Do not simply look for the icon and assume a website is secure! Your web browser will have detailed information on the website’s authenticity if you click on the icon, so be sure to read this carefully before entering any of your information on the site.
- Utilize your internet browser security tools
- Be sure to install the most current version of your web browser. Most browser have sophisticated filter that can identify and warn you of potential security threats
- Make sure that the proper online protection tools are enabled. You may also want to consider downloading an add-on for your browser that is specially designed to identify any unsafe elements of a website
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