The use of the internet is beneficial for many people as it is an informative place. However, aside from being full of useful information, the internet is also filled with websites that are either fake, fraudulent, or scams. The advancement of the internet has brought many convenient advances in the way people shop, use banks, and interact with the world. Along with that, it also has paved the way for new risks, as it gave criminals new avenues to rip off the innocent.

What it all leads to is fraud. One example of online fraud is phishing. It includes getting a person or group to reveal sensitive, sometimes compromising information under false pretenses that have been skillfully created by the attackers. For instance, an attacker may begin to send you an email that looks formal from an address that resembles an official account. The email may include a link that leads to a specially designed page that is a perfect copy of a login page of a certain website. If you are unable to tell that it is fake, your important information could be stolen.

Aside from that, there are many other types of cyber attacks that people should be wary of, such as third-party content injection, which is done when you connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots, eavesdropping, which is similar to phishing, and the good old-fashioned fraud, which include false advertising in websites. With these, how can you know whether the websites you are visiting are safe or not? For instance, if you want to play casino games online, how can you tell if it is a safe online casino? If you need help with this, this post is perfect for you. Below are the five telltale signs that a website might not be secure.

1. A website might not be secure if it has a weird-looking URL.

Many people are being attacked online as most do not pay attention to the URL of the website or the information on the address bar of the browser. Keep in mind that the address bar of a website contains lots of important data about where you are and how protected you are on the website. Therefore, make it a habit to glance up the address bar whenever you visit a new page. 

An attacker can control certain areas on the website, such as the favicon, domain name, file path, and web content area. One of the main tactics in phishing is to make a website that is almost indistinguishable from the real website. Therefore, when you visit a website, you need to be aware of how a URL is constructed. Also, take the time to inspect the URL for suspicious misspellings, punctuation, or sometimes long and garbled text in the address bar.

2. A website is not secure if it uses HTTP instead of HTTPS.

In the address bar, you will be able to see connection indicators that will tell you if your connection with the website is private. The internet was built on HTTP or hypertext transfer protocol. When it was first defined, the internet was not used for commercial activity, as it was illegal back then. Before, the internet was only used as a platform for the free exchange of information between academia and the government. Therefore, any communication done through HTTP is sent in plaintext that can be manipulated, intercepted, or stolen. 

To solve this issue, Secure Sockets Layer or SSL was created and later succeeded by Transport Layer Security or TLS. At the present time, both of them are referred to as SSL. Therefore, HTTP + TLS = HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP that prevents communication from being intercepted and read by others aside from you and the site you are connected to. That’s why you should never trust an HTTP website with your personal information. It should always be HTTPS.

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3. A website might not be secure if it triggers browser warnings.

Today, most browsers are able to spot unsafe links before the users do. For instance, Google Chrome sometimes gives warning messages, telling users that they have clicked on an unsafe link. Therefore, if you visit a website and you see this message from your browser, you should proceed with caution. You never know if there is a virus waiting to be installed on your device and get all of your important information.

4. A website might not be secure if it uses poor-quality images and wrong grammar.

Always remember good websites take pride in themselves. They ensure that the graphics look sharp and the grammar and spelling are on point, giving website visitors a streamlined and polished experience. Therefore, if you are on a website whose content is not written well and has a lot of errors, and features poor-quality images, then you may want to be a bit cautious. This is essential to note, particularly if the mistakes appear on important pages. Everyone can make mistakes. In fact, even big and famous companies sometimes make mistakes. However, you need to be wary of the mistakes becoming egregious.

5. A website might not be secure if other people leave bad reviews about it.

One of the great things about the internet is that nothing exists in a vacuum. Many people who have had experiences with a company, good or bad, are sharing their experiences somewhere. With a few searches, you can probably figure out if a website is not secure based on reviews alone. You can simply search the name of the site along with “positive reviews.” You can also check with the Better Business Bureau or other sites that exist to protect online consumers. The internet may not be the best place to tell you if something is good, but it can surely tell you when something is bad.

These are some of the telltale signs that a website might not be secure. The internet is a remarkable place that can be used for countless worthwhile activities. However, like anything else in this world, it also comes with some dangers. But as long as you stay vigilant, you are unlikely to run into any problems. By paying attention to the things that we’ve mentioned in this post, you will be able to ensure your safety and security when visiting websites.