It has been a long time since the beginning of the internet era. When the era began, about the early 2000s, the primary use of the internet was for the internet. However, over the years this fact has changed. The internet has emerged as a tool that does not just support entertainment but also other things such as business, education, administration, healthcare, etc.
Given this fact, it becomes imperative to understand which websites and internet platforms are secure and which are not. The real reason behind the constantly emerging threats on the websites is that, as technological changes are taking place so are the threats. Sometimes these threats can be found masqueraded as an attractive website design or feature, this trapping gullible web surfers.
So, despite being cautious, businesspersons often wade into uncharted waters on the internet, risking their safety in insecure web environments. Most of the time, it is not because of their poor intentions, rather because of their unfamiliarity with the web environment and interface.
Still, we would like to tell users that there are many signs to determine if a website is safe and secure. It is important to know these signs to avoid falling into the trap of such unsafe and malicious websites and web environments. In this article, we are going to tell you 7 simple steps to check if a website is safe. So stay tuned, and read on.
How to know if a website is secure?
- The SSL certificate check
SSL certificate is an important sign that the website you are about to visit is a safe one. You can try and check the URL of the website. If the URL has an HTTPS at the start, it means that the website is safe and can be trusted. If it has HTTP at the beginning, it means that the website does not have an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate is a certificate that ensures that all data transfers from the browser to the web server are done securely.
Take a look at the address bar of the website. You will find a small padlock positioned before the address of the website. When you click on it, you will see a message that says that “the connection to this site is secure”.
- See and analyze the theme of the website-is it a modern theme?
A website’s theme is made from code. Over time, the settings present in the code become old and obsolete. This can render the website vulnerable. Therefore, analyzing the theme of a website is another effective way to judge whether the website is secure or not.
As per the report of an article published by G1 in the year 2020, upwards of a million WordPress sites could be insecure due to old and obsolete plugins and themes. These web designers and developers must be careful to use the latest themes, code settings, and plugins so that the websites they are designing are safe to visit and browse.
- Deploy security tools to assess the website safety
Antivirus software is a common application on most PCs today. Antivirus and digital security service companies have systems in place that tell the user if the site they are about to visit is a safe site.
Some antivirus programs are so robust that they prevent the user from navigating to the insecure website in the absence of a security certificate. Or when the security certificate of the website has expired.
There are some internet security companies that enable the user to assess the safety of the website, and thereupon decide whether or not to visit the particular website. Those tools are usually installed automatically with the antivirus, like browser plugins.
In this regard, there are also quite a few VPN services and pen testing functionalities that might be useful to the user in evaluating the safety of a website. If you are looking for a VPN, check this one. Before you buy an antivirus, you must do prior research. Study the reputation of the company.
Look for antivirus company reviews on the internet. And then make an informed decision as to which antivirus to buy. An interesting website by the name of Virus Total performs an analysis of a website’s safety when you type the URL address of the website in the browser address bar. Thus it concludes, whether it poses any risks to visitors.
Google Safe Browsing is another effective tool similar to the previous one to evaluate website safety. It’s better because this tool has the Google advantage of access to analysis of billions of web pages.
- Carefully check the URL
Cybercriminals exploit the fact that most web visitors do not pay attention to details to carry out cybercrimes such as frauds and scams. A typo, a grammatical error in the website is a clear sign that the website is not secure and may scam you.
- Exercise caution regarding security seals
Many companies certify websites with certain security seals. Creating fake security stamps on photo editing tools and inserting them into the web page is quite easy. This can easily mislead visitors into believing that the website is genuine and safe. The best way to verify if the security seal is genuine is to click on it and see if it redirects you to their website.
You can also try searching for the security badge on Google, and check if the certification genuinely exists. You can check the safety of e-commerce websites by looking at their security certificate in this way.
So, this was a quick but exhaustive guide of the steps you can take to analyze and verify for yourself the safety of a website. Always remember to be alert and aware of the web. It’s your biggest weapon against malicious websites.