The 21st century has seen some active growth in the online community. Many businesses have opted in on the online platform choosing to grow their businesses in the virtual stream for more reach. In a world where everyone is competing for a piece of the online pie it’s no secret that you’ll find all sorts of businesses both genuine and fake with websites. The saddest bit of venturing online is the high risk of monetary loss if safe browsing is the order of the day before transacting. Other than fraudulent websites, there is the silent menace of hackers and identity thieves who have developed various means to manipulate web proxies for them to achieve their criminal intentions.
The only safe way to manage your online activities is to always use secure browsing to land genuine sites. So, what exactly do we mean by secure browsing and why is it important?
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Safe browsing and why it is important
Safe browsing is a common term when dealing with browser security. To be precise, browser security is an applied means of internet security to web browsers in order to protect computer systems and any networked data against malware and privacy breaches.
The virtual world is very complex and it keeps evolving daily. In some instances, websites will require that you give all if not most of your personal and sensitive information. If this sort of information lands in the wrong hands it could destroy your online reputation, you may lose your investments and they may also use your identity to keep tricking people into trusting them.
Again, safe browsing is important for the safety of your computing devices. There are so many leakages online that can pose as a threat. Apart from the hackers and identity thieves, there is malicious software which is often embedded as external links in most websites. There is no problem with a website having many external links and web pages however the problem only comes in if this website is a phony means of distributing destructive content.
Safe browsing protects both you and your computing devices against malicious intrusion. If you use a secure browser you may enjoy some level of security, we say “level” because not all secure browsers can detect malicious operations since the brains behind hacking, identity theft and malicious software has really diversified. Examples of secure browsers are:
- Epic privacy browser
- Comodo Dragon
- 360 secure browser
- Yandex browser
- Slim browser
- Safe zone
Signs of a safe browsing website- Necessary Checks before any online transaction
Since the internet is open to use by everyone the users who check in on the online platform vary in terms of their exposure to online tools and knowledge in IT and computer systems. Most internet browsers are built in a manner that allows even the most knowledgeable users to access their services. This piece of advice addresses both the most experienced and less experienced internet users. Before transacting on websites or giving out your confidential information on sites there are some common signs you need to look out for. Once you notice that a website contains any of these red flag signs you need leave the web-page immediately. IT and computer systems gurus can choose to venture further by checking on the sites proxy server, IP address and so on. Here are some common signs to look out for before transacting:
- Pop up adds
Have you ever visited a site and seen an instant messaging notification with a message sent to your interface. If you didn’t initiate a chat with anyone why then is there an instant chat popping on your screen? Again be very careful of coupon ads and pop up ads that carry unrealistic prizes or product offers. A huge percentage of these ads belong to phony operators and if they show on a site that you have visited then high chances are that the sites security is very low.
- No email or phone verification required after sign up
Email verifications are very crucial when creating accounts on websites. If you sign up on a new website using your email or phone number and you don’t receive a verification code or link then high chances that the website’s operators are hiding their proxy or IP address. If you own a genuine website, why would you want to hide your details for future follow ups?
- Emails from strangers claiming to know you and asking that you make a donation to them via a specified link
These emails have become quite common, and the identity thieves often use photos of beautiful women to lure their targets. Remember that most online donation are made via the online money transfer systems such as Skrill, Paypal and Payonner. Online thieve would want access to your personal bank account and they can easily do so through accessing your online payment account. If you are a philanthropist and you really want to give back to any global courses, there are many registered and genuine sites for you to make donations. These sites don’t outsource people or lure them into donating anything.
- Client reviews
If a site is reputable in its products and services then its clientele must have something to say about it. While dealing with a website we suggest that you read at least 5 to 10 client reviews before proceeding with any activity.
- Website has a phone number/fax line and physical address
Phone numbers, fax lines and physical addresses are a way identifying a website with its other access platforms other than the online one. Because hackers and identity thieves do not want to be traced, they rarely share such information on their phony websites.
- The website accepts credit cards
While there are some sites that allow users to make purchases using their debit cards they are really not the best secure options against online fraudsters. Credits cards are a very safe means to make purchases because the websites that allow their use need to go through a series of authentication processes just to receive a license from the credit card companies. These sites need to be legit in order to get an association with any credit card company.
- Site has an unbroken key icon or padlock
These two signs give an immediate indication that a site is legit and its security status is on point. You can rest sure once you see either of these two signs indicated on a sites url.
- The sites privacy statement is clearly indicated
A privacy statement clearly states the website’s policies and you are only advised to proceed if you feel comfortable with them. The statement also contains information on how the website protects its client’s sensitive documents and info.
How to manage a safe browsing to keep away identity thieves
In as much as there is a scare in fake website you should rest easy that genuine ones also do exists. Do not let the scary stories freak you out and hinder your online experience. If you are not sure of your websites security you can there is still a chance of securing it against hackers, online identity thieves and fraudsters. Here are some 5 ways to increase your website’s security:
- Place fraud alerts and security freezes on your browser and website
- Always keep an up to date file on ID theft
- Monitor all your accounts both financial and any online ones that are linked to your website
- Do not accept a merger with Credit card offers from unsolicited companies
- Secure all your computing devices against system malware. You must also tighten the security on networked sharing with other devices
Any transaction either physical or virtual should be protected. It is our sole duty to ensure that we use safe browsing tools and websites to protect sensitive information that may lead to loss of money.