October 20, 2020 | HTC The Internet has made it possible to have anything we need at our fingertips. But along with the convenience of being able to order food, interact with friends, and read about what’s happening all around the world, the Internet is also filled with potential risks. To avoid ending up on a site that can endanger your computer or personal information, try asking yourself the following questions to determine if a website is safe. HTC Website Safety Tips Does the URL start with HTTPS? In most cases, landing on a site that doesn’t begin with HTTPS is a big red flag. This acronym stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Essentially, a site with HTTPS encrypts data entered into it, which provides an extra layer of security and makes it harder for hackers to get in. Google and other search engines include HTTPS in their algorithms when ranking sites, so most web developers use it in their URLs. Did you look closely at the URL? If you see a hyperlink that intrigues you, hover over it and look in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. You should see the name of the URL where the link will go. If the name of that URL looks fishy, don’t click. If the URL looks okay, click on the link and then check that the URL is the one you aimed to visit. Sometimes scammers will take you to a URL that looks almost identical to a popular site, such as Faceboook.com instead of Facebook.com. If this happens, exit out right away. Does the content make sense? Scammers will make a website design look real, but they don’t often take time to write readable content. Browse around the site beyond the home page and see if you can understand the text or if it’s just a bunch of nonsense. If it doesn’t read in complete sentences or just repeats the same thing over and over again, it could be a setup to infect your computer or steal your information. Is the site full of pop-ups? You can identify a dangerous site right away if annoying ads appear as soon as you land on it. Sometimes you’ll see new tabs and windows trying to get you to click on them because “A virus was detected on your computer!” Often, these types of sites are just trying to bait you to head to a dangerous site. Installing a pop-up blocker on your laptop or PC should protect you. Is there a legitimate email address or phone number? We’ve all seen the Facebook ads for cute new shoes at an amazing price. After you click on the Shop Now button to head to the company’s website, you’ll want to make sure it’s a real company. Look around for contact information and if you can’t find any, don’t make a purchase. If you’re not sure if you trust the site, send an email asking where they are located or how long shipping takes. A bounce-back message or no answer means you shouldn’t give them your money. HTC’s SecureIT Web Security Software Protects You from Scams and Hackers Asking yourself the above questions is a good start to combatting cybercriminals and viruses, but the best way to keep your information safe is to have a protection package installed that offers world-class security. Our SecureIT software blocks and removes viruses, protects your passwords, offers safe surfing and parental controls, and also provides 5 GB of file backup. For just $5.99 per month, it’s well worth the peace of mind to know your Internet system is safe and secure. Contact us today to add this package to your plan. Harrisonville Telephone Company is a provider of reliable, cost-effective Internet (for streaming, gaming, surfing, viewing, listening, downloading, and more), television (hundreds of channels, free HD, VOD access and more), and phone (unlimited local and long distance, voicemail, caller ID, etc.). Want to learn more about our great home or business bundles? Visit our website, call us at 939-6112, or fill out our Contact Us page. We look forward to hearing from you.