Use of the internet has now become an essential element in many job roles. But using the Internet in both our professional and personal lives means being vigilant when it comes to our online security. Failing to browse safely can lead to malicious software being downloaded to your computer, your personal details being harvested and this in turn leading to identity fraud.
• Avoid questionable websites – use common sense
• Only download software from sites you trust. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
• Keep your web browser up to date and ensure your browser security settings are on.
• Ensure you have the best anti-virus, anti-spyware and cyber security products installed and make sure your Firewall is active.
• Do not click untrusted hyperlinks – if possible, type the URL in manually to access the website.
• Trust your personal judgement before clicking.
However, there are a many other, more uncommon things to consider when browsing online. IntaForensics have created a useful guide to online security to take the worry out of using the Internet.
How to Browse Securely Online:
1) Identify Unusual Website Activity
First and foremost, it is important to recognised whether you are on a legitimate website. There are a number of indicators that may flag up whether you are currently browsing safely.
It is essential to exercise common sense when browsing, if the website does not appear to be legitimate, then it probably isn’t. Often, misspellings, grammatical errors, the presence of extra words, or even unusual website structures can indicate whether the website may be harbouring something malicious. It is important to look out for these in the website URL (web address) too, is it different from the website you thought you were visiting? Simple spelling mistakes may redirect you to a convincing fraudulent version of a legitimate site (e.g. amzon.com instead of amazon.com).
If the website is requesting more personal information than you believe they should, this can also be an indicator. Do not be pressured into releasing sensitive information for timed, exclusive offers or investments.
If in doubt about a hyperlink, roll your mouse over the link – this will usually reveal the true URL (either as a box to the right of your mouse or at the bottom of the browser). It is simple for fraudulent parties to hide untrustworthy links behind seemingly legitimate text.
If you find yourself suspicious of a website, simply do a web search for more information. It is quite likely that you are not the first person to come across this website. There are a number of sources dedicated to outing fraudulent websites.