Did you know you could be shopping or sending e-mails from an insecure site? Not all websites, blogs, and services are secure. What does that mean exactly? Well, for starters, it means they are not utilizing HTTPs. HTTPs refers to Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This basically means adds a level of security when visiting a website reserved for SSL/TLS protocol. For the computer novice, it provides an added level of security and authentication for visiting a site on the web. It helps encrypt communication between a computer and a website which helps protect you when surfing online.
This guide will help you recognize whether or not you are visiting a secure site and what to do if you are not.
How to recognize you are surfing a secure site
Some websites will outright tell you they are secure, but there is no way to truly tell if a website is secure or not just by them saying so. If you are looking to see if a website is HTTPs based, just check the URL, it will look like this:
If it looks like this:
Then you are not connecting to the site securely.
When surfing a secure website, you are prevented from what are called a man in the middle attacks. These are phishing attempts that occur between the time your computer heads to a website and the time it actually “arrives” there. This is a form of phishing and is something referred to as eavesdropping between computer and website.
Surfing secure websites, especially when it comes to your personal data, is especially important when you are using an open WiFi connection. This is when the most types of man in the middle attacks occur to those who do not know better. If you avoid visiting websites that are the most sensitive, such as banking, credit cards, and even e-mail, when you are on a WiFi network, you are protecting yourself even further than just utilizing secure websites.
Why is knowing the difference between a secure and insecure site important?
Whenever you are online, you need to be acutely aware of where you are browsing and what you are doing to secure your security on the Internet. Using strong usernames, passwords and securely browsing are keys to doing just that By knowing when you are surfing a secure site, you can ensure your privacy and data is protected to the best of your ability.