How to stay safe online!

Should I Buy from This Site? How to Know if a Website is Secure

Many people are doing their shopping online. But how do you know if a site is secure?

With so much online shopping, lots of personal information—phone numbers, home addresses, and credit cards—will be flying around the Internet. This personal data translates to pounds for cyber criminals who are waiting.

Protecting Your Data

Online shoppers are vulnerable to scams like phishing or fraudulent websites, spam/phishing emails, pop-ups, social engineering attacks, and fraudulent charities or causes.

How to know if a Website Is Secure

Before giving any information to a website, you should make sure it’s secure, so here’s some quick tips that can help you.

Check the SSL Certificate

Look at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secured using an SSL Certificate (the s stands for secure). SSL Certificates secure all your data as it is passed from your browser to the website’s server. To get an SSL Certificate, the company must go through a validation process.

Look at the Domain

Cyber attackers will sometimes create websites that mimic existing websites and try to trick people into purchasing something on or logging into their phishing site. These sites often look exactly like the existing website.

Let’s use the same example as before: a cyber attacker purchases the domain “amAzon.com” and sets up a website at that location that looks exactly like the amazon.com website.

To avoid being tricked, always look at the domain of the site you are on. If you get an email from your bank or other online vendor, don’t click the link in the email. Type the domain into your browser to make sure you are connecting to the website where you intend to be.

Look for Signs that the Company Is Real

There are a few signs that you can look for to help you know if a company is real or not.

Physical address and phone number – Reputable companies will list their information so you can contact them if there is a problem.

Return policy – Reputable sites should list their return policy as well as their shipping policy.

Prices are too low to believe –  You could end up with knock off merchandise, stolen goods, or not get anything at all.

Privacy statement – Reputable sites should tell you how they protect your information and whether they give your information to third parties. You should make sure a site has a privacy statement and read it before you make a purchase.

I hope these tips help you to stay safe online!

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