These days we do everything online – from paying bills to purchasing items we’re constantly giving out sensitive information over the internet, and usually without a second thought. However since identity theft and credit card theft are becoming more common every day, we need to start paying a little more attention to if the website we’re using is a secure and safe place to be entering in our credit card or social security numbers. So how do you tell if a website is secure or not?
- Look at the web address –
Most web addresses start out http://; however a secure website will start out https://. That little “s” makes all the difference between a site that you can trust when you input your information and a site that you may want to think twice about before handing it over.
- Check for the website’s site seal –
Many websites are sensitive to the need for processing secure information and will try to put consumers at ease by indicating a site seal very clearly on their page. A few examples of common site seals are SSL.com, Verisign, and GeoTrust.
- Find the lock image –
If you look in the middle of the browser there should be a small image of a lock that, when clicked on, will give you the site’s security information. You should always click on the lock to get this security information because some fraudulent websites will supply you with a picture of a lock to make it look like it’s secure when it actually isn’t.
- Keep your computer security system up to date –
Your computer’s anti-virus software, firewalls, and anti-spyware software should always be up to date to ensure that your computer is protected; otherwise you risk your computer being infiltrated and your information being hacked. This is an easy step to your own internet safety that most people overlook – don’t be one of them!
- Be wary of what information you need to give –
Only fill out the fields that are absolutely necessary to whatever bills you are paying or transactions you’re doing online. If it seems unnecessary, don’t fill it out and if the website is forcing you to fill it out when it’s evident that you shouldn’t need to that should raise a red flag.
With how prevalent online theft is these days you can never be too careful when conducting business online. If anything ever feels like it isn’t right to you, listen to your instincts and go through the steps to make sure that the site you’re dealing with really is a secure website.
Melanie Slaugh is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on various consumer goods and services as a freelance writer. She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet service providers in my area for presenting the consumers, the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them. She can be reached at email@example.com.