Surfing the Internet has revolutionized the life of all of us, making everyone more productive and making information accessible to anyone, just a few mouse clicks are enough, but on the Internet there are also numerous dangers, well hidden: just a distraction is enough to find the infected PC or have your personal data stolen (including credit card or bank account information). In this guide I will show you how to check if a secure site with some tools integrated in browsers plus some extensions that you can use to make browsing safer.
Let's start by explaining the meaning of a term you often hear, that is phishing.
The phishing a computer scam carried out by sending an e-mail with the counterfeit logo identical to that of a credit institution or an e-commerce company, one of the most common cases in which you try to pass the e-mail for an original communication of Poste Italiane, but not only, this happens with many banks and Paypal.
In these emails the evildoer invites the recipient to provide confidential personal data (data that will be stolen from us such as: credit card number, password to access the home banking service, etc.), motivating this request for technical reasons, all by connecting to a link in the email, which if you go to see for good does not match to that of the real banking institution.
Precisely for this reason, it is very useful to check whether the site on which we are sent actually corresponds to that of the sender who contacted us. For example, if you contact us Italian post, we write on Google Italian post and compare the links indicated in the email and those found in google search and this is only the first step to do to be sure of a site.
How to check if a secure site through online services
Another risk we can take is to catch a malware or virus by connecting to an unsafe site. This can lead, at best, to a slowdown of our computer, but in the worst case, the loss of all data or even the theft of them.
To check if a site contains a Malware or a Virus, we can use one of these 2 online services:
LINK | Web Inspector by Comodo
The first thing to do is to copy the URL of the website we want to analyze and paste it in the dedicated field and start the scan. Wait for the short amount of time for the real-time scan to check for potentially harmful items. At the end of the analysis we will be able to see the results and from these decide whether to visit the site or not
After the analysis on the site has been performed, we will be able to know if the site:
- High Risk
- Inconclusive (Inconclusive Analysis)
In addition to this there are also other tools produced by famous antivirus houses to have greater certainty that the site we want to visit is safe, by connecting to the following link:
LINK | Kaspersky Online
How to check if a secure site via browser
Another guarantee that a secure site has a SSL certificate, that's exactly what it is, don't worry all very simple to understand.
A SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) a standard protocol that protects communications via the Internet, so as to ensure that sensitive information provided by users on the web (such as passwords, personal data and credit card numbers) remain confidential and are not in no way intercepted by third parties.
To do this the communication between the client server and the web server encrypted. To understand if we navigate with a connection that is based on SSL certificate / protocol is enough look at the address on the navigation bar. In our browser where we will see a padlock and instead of http: // we will find https: // we will know that we are on a site that uses SSL certificates. This guarantee protects against fraud and theft, especially important if you are dealing with e-commerce sites and for all those sites that provide online services with the exchange of sensitive and private data.
Below you can see, in the main internet browsers, how to see if a site uses a secure and encrypted connection.
The Google Chrome browser allows you to immediately understand if the site you are visiting is safe, especially when you browse the bank's site, you are about to enter sensitive information or you are connected to any site with which you manage virtual money. At the top left, next to the bar of addresses, a green padlock will appear with the inscription Sure.
This symbol indicates that the encrypted connection and personal data are secure, because the site certified to offer a secure connection. On some sites you can also see the name of the service or site imprinted on the certificate.
In any case, do attention to the color of the padlock, will be decisive to check if a secure site.Here you can find the various colors that the lock of Google Chrome can take.
If you need to share sensitive information or access a site with which you use your money make sure that the lock is always green, while be extremely careful if the lock is not present, yellow or a red triangle appears in its place.
If you use the Mozilla Firefox browser you can check if a secure site with a padlock on the left of the address bar, completely similar to the one shown in the image below.
If the green padlock connection to the secure site, you can enter passwords and personal data without fear that they may be stolen by attackers. As already seen on Google Chrome, the name of the site or service imprinted on the certificate may also be present, for greater security.
Make sure the lock is green before entering credit card codes, passwords for access to home banking services or in general the credentials for any site.
Do you use the Microsoft browser integrated in Windows 10? In this case you can check if a secure site by checking if there is a padlock next to the address bar.
The padlock can be both white and green; in the latter case, the protection of each element of the total page, in fact most of the time the name of the site or service visited will also appear.
If you need to enter sensitive data from a link taken via email, make sure that the green padlock is present and that the name of the certificate matches the name of the page you are visiting.
Extensions to check if a secure site
As you could see, it takes very little to check if a secure site, just look for a green padlock! But if the security all for you in this part of the guide will show you some extensions that you can install on your browser to increase security while browsing. This way you don't have to open a link or a site to check if the connection is secure.
- WOT: Web of Trust; a useful extension to understand if the site you are about to visit is safe or not. Use green circles for safe links, while yellow and red circles are to be avoided.
- Web Anti-Virus Link Checker; to immediately check the links you click on and avoid catching any malware.
- WOT: Safe exploration; the same extension already seen on Google Chrome. Show colored circles on links and searches to see in advance if the site is safe or not.
- 360 Internet Protection; with this extension you can check all the links in advance for threats and malware, blocking them before you can infect your PC.