5th February is Safer Internet Day 2019, so there is no better day to share 5 ways to be aware and look for tell-tail signs your website. Simply identifying these features as a user is important, but have you made the correct steps to make your site safer?
The first and easiest to spot is an SSL certificate. The SSL padlock is found in the browser, next to the URL starting with ‘https’. Without the ‘S’ it means there isn’t a ‘Secure Socket Layer’ in place. This security feature protects against private and sensitive information being accessible by cybercriminals whilst information is being transmitted between the servers. When you sign up to newsletters, submit card details or complete a contact form, always double check it the URL includes ‘https’ before submitting.
If you’ve noticed your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate or that a site you’ve visited doesn’t have one, our technical team can install one immediately, making your site trustworthy, safe and secure for users.
Misleading information is most likely to be seen on pop ups, with grand and often sweeping statements. For example, a pop up promising a new ecommerce website to be built in a working day is unlikely to happen. If the site is without an SSL certificate or other trustworthy certifications, it may be best to go no further on the site. If the deal is too good to be true and it’s shouting at you to click on it, it’s likely that it will download harmful malware. If a valid offer, it is likely to appear elsewhere on the site or you can always call the company direct. But are the contact details looking suspicious?
Most websites now-a-days offer a reasonable contact number or a way to get in touch. If the contact details seen suspicious and their email address seems somewhat creative, this is another warning sign.
If you’re about to put in your card details, always look for trust badges you recognise and question those that you don’t. Companies such as Asos, John Lewis, and Amazon and other reputable brands will have a trust badge when payment details are required. There are many trust badges, but those that are the most reliable have a small snippet of information explaining what the badges delivers. If you’re unsure, click on the badge to read more about the certification before submitting your information.
Does the website have a professional ‘look’ with clear intentions? Is it all singing and dancing and therefore distracting to know the purpose of the site? Some may have content with multiple spelling mistakes or bad grammar, some may have some odd advertisements, which may distract you when trying to be secure on the site.
If you suspect the site is of poor quality, check the links you’re clicking on are relevant to the place that you are going. Scan over the hyperlink and look in the bottom left corner to see where the link is going. If it’s not relevant, avoid clicking on the link and don’t submit and private information.
Google have updated their algorithm and now prioritise https sites or will even flag the site as a warning, but before downloading malware by entering your details, make a judgement call - it’s better to be safe than sorry. For extra security, check your anti-virus software is up to date and install the relevant web security tools. Or for more information on 5 ways to be safe on a website or how to make your website safer, get in touch.
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