How do you know if you are on a secure (https) web site?



November 25th, 2005

I know people are going to be spending a lot of their hard-earned cash online over the next few weeks so I though I'd pass on a few tips on how to know if you are on a secure website. 

  • Don't be lazy!  Type in the web address!
    The first thing to note - type in the web addresses for e-commerce sites - clicking on links in emails (and even storing them in the favorites) can be dodgy.  Type it in and then you know where you are going!
  • Look for the https!
    This is important!  Don't disclose your details if you are not protected by a secure [tag]https[/tag] site.  On an https connection your details are encrypted while in transit across the web.  Without this you are wide open!
    Secure https websites
  • Check for the lock!
    Very important!  As well as looking for the "https" in the [tag]URL[/tag] look for the lock icon that shows you are protected.
    This appears in the status bar at the bottom on the window in [tag]Internet Explorer 6[/tag]:
    Secure https websites
    In [tag]Firefox[/tag] the lock appears both next to the URL at the top and in the status bar at the bottom
    Secure https websites
    Secure https websites
    [tag]Opera[/tag] displays the lock next to the URL in the address bar:
    Secure https websites
  • Double-click the lock!
    This will give you information about the [tag]certificate[/tag] that the website uses to verify itself to you and encrypt the information (don't worry too much about the technical details if you're not interested):
    [tag]Internet Explorer[/tag] 6:
    Secure https websites
    Firefox:
    Secure https websites
    Opera:
    Secure https websites
  • Stick to reputable sites!
    Reputable sites won't try to rip you off!

Take care and stay safe!

EDIT

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Some more good links on safe shopping on the net over on 43 Folders.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 25th, 2005 at 23:21 and is filed under Stay Secure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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