Many people use online mail, banking and buy items on the internet now. The biggest question is,”What are some things I can check to increase my safety online?”
There are two ways to browse the internet, regularly and securely. Regular sites have the designation “http://” in front of the www. address, secure/encrypted websites us the “https:// designation.
What is the difference? Regular websites are not encrypted. Any information you enter into them is transfered across the internet in standard readable text. Secure sites encrypt the data you enter before sending it over the internet. This makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for someone to intercept and read this information.
Whenever you are asked to log in to a secure site, whenever you are purchasing items, or checking your financial information, glance up at the address bar and make sure that it says “HTTPS://” in front of the web address instead of “HTTP://” This tells you that your are using a secure site and that your information is being encrypted as it is sent over the internet. Standard sites are not encrypted.
Believe it or not, hackers have found a way to divert your HTTPS:// connections to a standard HTTP:// unencrypted address. So instead of your address bar at the top of internet explorer saying something like https://securebankingfor me.com it will actually say http://securebankingforme.com and your information that you thought was secure could be intercepted.
Oh, one last point, don’t rely on the lock icon that shows up in the address bar when on a secure site, hackers have found a way to duplicate that also. Always check for the “https://”
Daniel W. Dieterle