People use the Internet for online bill payment, banking and
shopping every day.
Though most online transactions are safe as long as you use
trusted sites you are familiar with, there is always the chance that you risk
theft of personal and financial information on the Internet.
Before making an online purchase or offering any personal
information from a website that you are not familiar with, ensure that the
website displays any security certificates in your website browser.
Check the website's URL address carefully.
Sometimes fraudulent websites will attempt to
use a web design or URL that is similar to a trusted website.
Look for the security icon in your web browser.
Internet Explorer and Chrome each display a
little yellow lock icon in the address bar next to the website's URL. Firefox
displays the little yellow lock icon in the far bottom right-hand corner of the
View the website's security certificate. See
the security certificate by clicking on the lock icon in the browser and
selecting "View Certificate" or "Certificate Information."
This gives you more information about the
website, who owns the site and who has issued the security certificate.
Follow Windows certificate security warnings.
Windows keeps a list of the most common
Internet certificate authorities, and alerts a user when he goes to use a
website that is using a certificate that is not part of this list.
This helps warn a user when there might be a
potentially insecure website that is attempting to pass itself off as
Look for an Internet trust logo on the
website, especially on pages with online forms.
Internet trust organizations verify that a
website has a valid privacy statement that protects the information you provide
to the site.
However, be careful of sites that display an
Internet trust logo without a security certificate since the logos can be
duplicated and displayed without real verification.
Look for contact information such as a phone
number and street address on the website.
If a website doesn't offer this information
online, it may be a sign that the site should not be trusted.
When to trust a website
How to know if an online transaction is secure