How To Tell if a Website is Secure

How To Tell if a Website is Secure

There are currently more than one-quarter of a billion websites that exist online as you read this. Given the sheer enormity of that number, it is easy to wonder how you can trust any website you visit. The World Wide Web is growing at an exponential rate, with more than a hundred thousand websites being uploaded every single day. The average user may not have the technical knowledge to ensure that the pages he or she is clicking on have adequate privacy controls, but there are some simple ways to tell if a website is safe. This article will detail how to tell if a website is secure, in order to protect your electronic privacy.


Practice privacy protection by searching on Google

Out of the hundreds of millions of websites currently online, not all are found on Google. Google is a good initial step to find out whether or not a website is legitimate. By simply typing in the website name, you can find out quickly whether or not it has been indexed by Google. As well, if you type ‘link:’ you can find out whether any other domains appear in Google’s index which link up to the website in question.

In collaboration with Google, web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox now have the ability to protect you from clicking on unsafe websites. Firefox has extensions you can add on to your browser to defend your computer against websites that are not secure. An example is the Web of Trust safe browsing tool, which assesses the online reputation of the website you are searching for and lets you know via a color-coded key whether that site is secure.


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Protect your electronic privacy by looking for three familiar icons

There are three key visual markers that will let you know if a website practices privacy protection and is secure to click on:

1) SSL certification lock icon

The SSL certification lock is a well-known visual cue that lets you instantly know that the website you are on practices data encryption. When you are shopping online, having a secure, encrypted connection to the server means that your personal data is protected and you can safely use your credit card to pay online. The lock icon will appear in your browser’s address bar. In addition to the lock, you will also notice that the URL of the website will change to ‘https’ instead of ‘http’ and the address bar will turn yellow.


2) Better Business Bureau online logo

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has long since been an advocate for safe business practices. Since launching their online program, the BBB has been protecting consumers from fraudulent websites and scams online.

A website is assessed based on its Internet reputation, and the website must meet the BBB Standard of Trust. The BBB Directory lists those businesses that have been reviewed and notes whether or not there have been complaints registered against that business or website. If you see the BBB logo on the website you are browsing, you will be able to click the link and find a full profile of the business in question.

3) Verisign Trust Seal

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The Verisign Trust Seal is a familiar symbol that instantly tells you that the website you are on is practicing protection of privacy. The Trust Seal has many benefits, among them the fact that it allows websites with the seal to stand out from their competition in search results. A small graphic is placed beside the website name on the search page, allowing you to know it is a safe website before you even click on the link.

Verisign is also an excellent way for you to assess whether a website is practicing online reputation management. As part of the Trust Seal program, Verisign scans the website for malware that hackers could potentially install on the website without the owners knowledge. If a business finds that its customers are receiving viruses from their website, it can destroy their good online reputation.

You can be sure that websites with the verified Verisign Trust Seal will allow you to shop online while protecting your personal information and your computer from viruses and spyware. Keep your eye out for these recognizeable logos once you've learned how to tell if a website is secure.


Monitor web addresses before you open your email

When using the World Wide Web, you can never be too careful in protecting your electronic privacy. Although you may have already established whether a website is trustworthy through searching Google and specific website graphics, you should be also be aware of signs that can alert you to scam websites designed to access your personal data. The links to these fraudulent websites come in the form of emails sent to you called “Phishing” email.

Phishing emails are sent from what appears to be a trustworthy website, such as Facebook or your online bank. In reality, the email will have you clicking through to a fake website that was created to gain access to your personal information such as name, address, credit card, or banking numbers.

A quick way to tell if an email has originated from a trustworthy website is to hover over the link it is asking you to click on. If the website address is different from that of the trusted website, don’t click the link. Yet another way to tell if the email is fraudulent is to search the subject of the email in Google. Known email scams are often posted on many websites and forums in order to protect consumers.


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Defend your right to electronic privacy

With more than a hundred thousand websites being added to the Internet each and every day, there has never been a better time to get serious about your digital privacy. ReputationDefender knows that privacy protection is vital, and the MyPrivacy package was designed to protect your electronic privacy, no matter which website you happen to click on.  Know how to tell if a website is secure and keep your online privacy guarded.

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