Keyboard with HTTPS in green     ....  image credit: sangfroidwebdesign.com

Is that website you're visiting secured??

By Cyril Osagie | pendragon | 2 May 2024


Originally posted on my medium: https://medium.com/@CyrilOsagie/how-to-know-youre-visiting-a-secure-website-b9d0117b61f7

There are different ways to detect a website that is not secured. In this article, I've outlined some of the ways a secured website can be known

1. URL should begin with “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP.”

The Https:// which stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is a secured version and primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website. Https was made to improve security when transmitting sensitive data between browsers and website servers. HTTPS blocks websites from having their information transferred in such a way whereby it can be captured by anyone peeking in on the network. A secure URL should begin with “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP”. The ignored ”S” in “HTTPS” stands for secured and this tells us that any information entered into that website is encrypted and safe as it goes from your web browser to the server of the website. The “HTTPS” site makes use of an SSL (secure socket layer)certificate; this certificate is the security protocol that encrypts the information which is being shared between our browsers and web servers

SSL certificates are a must for websites that require users to provide credit card info, login details, or email. The principal function of SSL is to ensure that we enjoy security when we perform online bank activities, logins, and other information transfers. The SSL is also used to check the website’s name and other details when we click on the padlock symbol at the title bar of our browser

You can tell that a website is secure when you observe that:

a. The address bar is highlighted in GREEN( not available in some browsers )

b. The URL begins with HTTPS

c. There is a lock symbol close to the URL

This shows that the website is secure

Installing SSL on your website’s server is an extra advantage as it is deemed secure by web browsers and improves your ranking. The lock symbol is a sign that your connection to the website is secured and no one is eavesdropping or intercepting the communication between you and the server

Note that: Even with all of these things mentioned above the website you’re visiting might not be safe. If a website make use of HTTP instead of HTTPS any information that flows through the website can be collected and used to your disadvantage. A programmer can see your information if you’re using HTTP meanwhile if you are using HTTPS all your information is encrypted.

2. Use security tools to evaluate the site

Some antivirus tools come with website security systems that shows that a website is secured. In some situations, the system will not navigate to a website where there is no security certificate at the address or it would evaluate.

Some tools used to check the security of a website

  1. Detectify
  2. WPScan
  3. Google Safe Browsing
  4. Mozilla Observatory

3. Check the URL properly

You always have to be conscious of the website address in case there is a typo, error in spelling, or domain address. Make sure it's the same with the one you're suppose to be visiting.

Also be wary of the sites you input your credit cards and private informations.

 

CONCLUSION

Even with all of this, the website you’re visiting may not be secured because the owner of the website might be a cybercriminal. So you have to take precautions when navigating through different web pages or websites.

 

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Cyril Osagie
Cyril Osagie

I'm a writer, Designer, and Dev. I write mostly on Twitter and medium this is my x account link: x.com/cyrilosagie20


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