used with permission from Norton by Symantec
Would it surprise you to learn that there are over 4 billion internet users in 2018? With over half of the population around the world now surfing the net, there may be an increased opportunity for malware attacks by those with malicious intent. As internet scams continue to evolve, it’s important to make sure the websites you visit don’t pose a threat.
Arm yourself with knowledge to help you avoid potentially dangerous sites by familiarizing yourself with these three red flags.
1. Odd-looking domain names
Let’s say you get an email from your bank. At least, it looks just like the emails your bank sends, addressing you by your full name. The email presents an offer you’d like to explore. Naturally, there are a couple of links and a big button making it easy for you to reach the right page in one click.
However, once you arrive on the page, you notice something odd about the domain name showing in your browser’s address bar. Rather than looking like this: https://www.MyBank.com, it looks something like this: https://www.MyBank.SpecialOffer.com.
Examples like this are often a telltale sign that you’ve reached a malicious website. That odd-looking domain name indicates that you’re going to a website called SpecialOffer.com. The scammers have created the name MyBank as part of their real domain. Many people can be caught in this type of scam if they don’t look at the domain name of the page they landed on. It’s also possible that they scan it quickly, see MyBank, and assume that they’re in the right place.
Help yourself to avoid scams like this by always looking carefully at the domain name link, usually by hovering over the linked text to see the destination URL. If it doesn’t look right to you, the best approach is to go to your web browser and manually type the domain name you want to reach. For additional protection, opt for a solution like Norton Safe Web, which has the ability to warn you before you even reach a suspicious website.
2. Domain names that don’t start with this
If you land on a site and the domain name starts with “HTTP,” you may be on an unsecure connection if you choose to shop there. As an additional security measure, most websites today use “HTTPS” to denote a secure connection. Here’s how it works.
HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the traditional technology the internet uses to communicate between your computer and locations on the internet. HTTPS (Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the secure version of that technology.
A site that uses HTTPS is keeping any information you type into the website secure, including your credit card numbers and other personal information. HTTPS encrypts the information that passes between you and the website so that even if a scammer could access that data, they couldn’t read it without the encryption key.
3. Websites that display a security alert
These days, scammers continue to come up with new ways of accessing your computers and other devices. When you visit a website infected with malware, a pop-up might appear, telling you that your device is infected, and then offer to remove it for you.
When you click on a link in the pop-up, the infected website could then send malware to your computer to disrupt its operations. At the same time, the pop-up might assure you that it has removed all malware and your computer is now safe.
Help avoid malware attacks like these when you install internet security software, like Norton Security. Some solutions have the ability to alert you before you even land on a website that could potentially infect your device.
The more informed you become about threats online, the more tools you’ll have to help protect your personal information and devices. When you combine actionable tips like these with the added layer of security of Norton Security, you can rest assured your journey on the web will lead you to safe and secure sites.