How Can I Tell If a Website is Secure?

Before you make a payment or share sensitive information online you are advised to be sure the website is secure. Fortunately, this is easy to do.

When you are just looking around on a website the URL (address) probably begins with Http://, meaning the site is using Hypertext Transfer Protocol, but it does not have an added security layer.

When you switch to a purchasing mode on the same site, go to a banking site, or go to any site where you are going to share financial or sensitive personal information that URL should change, to begin with Https://.

Notice on shopping sites when the security layer is added on (when you get asked to enter sensitive information), and when it goes off again (if you just go back to browsing around).Test this URL change out on a few sites you are familiar with:

  1. Notice on your bank’s site that the security layer is always in place.

Now, whenever you are preparing to enter sensitive information on a website, take one small moment to see if that critical ’s’ in the Https:// is there.

The S is crucial because it means all communications between your browser and the website in question are encrypted and secure. Further information on the Secure Socket Layer protocol that encrypts your web traffic and a broader overview of the workings of HTTPS, see this article.

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