For some people surfing online is better than surfing the real waves. Yes, it might lack the thrills of boards and oceans, but it has its advantages. For one, it is easily accessible. Anyone can turn on their computer, open the browser, and surf.
The chances are you’re doing it for a few hours each day, just like the rest of us. For most of us, the internet is taken for granted. We don’t even think too much about the consequences of internet browsing.
To make things clear, there are consequences. With each internet search, we expose some of our data to the world wide web. While in most cases searching the net is safe, you can find yourself in uncharted waters. The majority of us are not even aware that we’re at risk.
It’s hard to tell when the website we’re visiting is not on the right side of things. When surfing online data privacy concerns should be paramount. But, you’re probably not aware of some of the more obvious red flags that come with internet browsing. Let’s talk about those for a while. Here’s how to spot a red flag in an ocean of different colors.
Surfing the web starts with a Google search. Google always looks to push the best content to the top of its search results. But, sometimes, a website that is not too good will find its place in the top search results. Or, the situation might be that you went a few pages down in Google rankings.
Either way, before you click on the domain you need to see if it’s secure. If a website doesn’t have the ‘s’ in https:// and it only shows http:// you need to avoid it. The ‘s’ stands for secure, and without it, you’ll soon be on the wrong side of an internet search.
Domain Name Misspell
Good and reputable websites have well-known names. You can recognize them by a mere look. But, this is what scammers will use against you. One of the biggest tricks they pull is misspelling domain names. The chances are you’ll click on a domain by thinking that you’re visiting the real deal.
Also, the scam lies in the fact that you could type the domain name the wrong way. One letter could make all the difference. Also, they tend to focus on domain extensions. The domain name would remain the same, but instead of .com, there would be .org or even something else.
Too Many Cookies
Cookies are a vital part of any website. Yes, you might not like them nor you’re eager to accept cookies each time when you visit a new website but they serve a purpose. Thanks to cookies certain websites will know your preferences in advance and tailor their offer to your liking.
In the majority of cases, this is great. What’s not so amazing is the fact that there could be too many cookies on a website. In addition to that they could be cookies with a long expiration date. If you visit a website that has a combination of the two you need to back out and do not accept their cookies.
New Websites That Lack Information
As we said, the internet is a vast place. You’ll encounter big websites, but you’ll meet smaller ones too. When a website is not massive it doesn’t make it a bad one. Websites need time to grow. But, when you’re visiting a website for the first time, that’s not too old and provides no information about its operations whatsoever you need to turn around.
The lack of an ‘about us’ page is a massive red flag. Everyone honest on the web will have an ‘about us’ page that states this is us and this is what we do and they’ll display it proudly. If it’s not there you shouldn’t spend any more time on that website.
Each website will have more pages than one. Each page, article, or simply part of a website will have a designated URL. Usually, a URL needs to contain information about the page you’re visiting. You can recognize its content by simply looking at its URL.
Take our page and this article as an example. Things couldn’t be clearer. But, if you’re on a website that has shady URLs, that’s not a good sign as far as your privacy is concerned. A bad URL will contain numbers and randomly generated letters. In essence, it will lack any content and it is a clear sign of a website you shouldn’t trust.
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No SSL Certificate
Genuine websites will go beyond their means to prove to their visitors that they’re legit. Those who have a hidden agenda won’t do the same. One of the signs that a website can be trusted is the SSL certificate. When a website possesses one it will show that the website is secured.
If you’re on a website that requires payments this will mean a lot to you. The websites without an SSL certificate will show a ‘not secured’ tag in the upper left corner.
While the internet has plenty of privacy issues, many of them can easily be avoided if you know how to recognize the signs of fraudulent websites. With just a few examples of the red flags we listed above you are now more adept to recognize them in the sea of websites you’ll visit.
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Each day the privacy landscape of the internet changes, so you need to be aware of them and be educated on the subject for your own well-being and safer browsing.