Some aspects of the web are a mystery to many users around the world. Even though we are using our computers daily, we still do not know everything about them. After all, we do not have to understand how all the tools that we use work.
Moreover, it seems that all that matters to us is how fast the machines we are using can carry out our instructions. We tend to leave the security measures to the professionals.
Unfortunately, this approach can cause various problems. Sometimes, our lack of knowledge about modern technology might even lead to severe consequences. As a result, the importance of cybersecurity is continuously growing.
In this article, you will find some advice on how you can tell if a website you are visiting is safe. Please, do not treat this information lightly, as it can play a vital role in protecting your data! If you do not want to get scammed in the virtual world, read on.
What Are the Signs of a Website You Should Avoid
Many website owners contact a professional penetration testing company or perform a penetration test themselves. Sadly, not everyone follows suit in this aspect. In consequence, there are many unsecured websites you can find on the Internet.
You might need to follow your gut many times in your life. However, in the case of cybersecurity, there is little room for experiments. As such, we have prepared a list of things you should avoid doing:
- Clicking on links from unknown sources: The address you see on your screen might look familiar, but it does not mean that it is safe. Remember, even typing the URL yourself is a safer option than clicking on some link of unknown origin!
- Not reading the URL carefully: If you are a long-time Internet user, you might know some URLs by heart. Use this knowledge to avoid any phishing attacks that might be directed at you! Many times phishers want to steal your information by setting up sites with similar addresses to the popular ones millions of users visit every day. Outsmart them by typing the URLs yourself! You can also check if the spelling in a link you received is right.
- Believing everyone on the web: All links on the Internet should be considered suspicious. As such, before you open any link you got sent via some app or email, check it by using Google’s Transparency Report or other similar online tools. Additionally, do not blindly trust anyone who will try to give you a “very special one time offer.” In such a case, they are probably only looking for a clever way to trick you into falling into their trap.
With many cyberthreats lurking on the web, you have to be very careful about how you approach new information. Remember about the things we mentioned, as they can prove to be crucial in assessing the safety of every website you may encounter!
What To Look for in a Secure Website
After addressing some common mistakes, now is the time to turn our attention to more specific factors. After all, as the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”
Some aspects need your focus if you wish to keep your cybersecurity intact. Here is what you should consider doing:
- Check the TLS/SSL certificate: If the URL of a website you want to visit starts with “HTTPS” and has a lock icon next to it, it means that this particular site is secured. Therefore, you can feel safe while using it.
- Inspect your password’s strength: If the needed password strength on a website you want to use is significantly lower than on other well-secured sites you use, this may indicate some security issues. Please, avoid setting up an account on a site where standard security measures are not substantial!
- See if other trusted sites link to this website: When a trusted website places a link on their site, it usually suggests that this link leads to another safe website. However, keep your finger on the pulse, as hackers can sometimes exploit this! By hacking into accounts of famous people and scamming users that follow them, cybercriminals have already stolen tons of money. Make sure you do contribute to their future gains!
- Look for a physical address and phone number: When you can see a real-life address on a website, it indicates that there is a real-life company behind it. When in doubt, check other information sources about a particular company’s address and phone number and compare them with what you found on the site.
A good rule of thumb is never trusting everything we see, even when at first glance it looks legit. Remember to inspect websites you interact with and never keep your guard down!
Additionally, be extremely careful with your personal information online. Double and triple check everything before you decide to give it away! When keeping safety as your top priority, you should have no problems using the Internet to the fullest.
The Bottom Line
Cybersecurity in the current world is a must. Even when we are not experts in the field, we still have to follow some commonly established rules to protect ourselves from cybercriminals.
Luckily, there are multiple ways in which we can ensure our safety. For example, by looking at TLS certificates and closely inspecting links that show up in our mailboxes, we can assess a particular site’s security.
Moreover, by comparing the information on a site with other trusted sites and our knowledge, we can quickly identify if a website is secure. It shows that a little bit of suspicion might be a welcome addition to our everyday Internet interactions.
Make sure to follow our tips, stay vigilant, and everything should be fine. Good luck!