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Jim Young

Our Site is not Safe - Now you tell me!

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Safe surfing is just that, safe surfing.  What one must watch out for is mistyping a url, since so many sites get domain names similar to real sites, capitalizing on the fact that people misspell when they type a url.  That can lead one to a site which looks real, acts real, and has fields for personal information that the user inputs--and their information is stolen.  Or the sites install drive by downloads.  I always tell people if they receive a Yes/No prompt or OK/Cancel prompt from a site that they believe suspect and want to leave, click neither lest you run embedded code.  Go to task manager and kill the browser, and when you restart the browser and it asks you to restore the session, do not.  Use Adblock Plus for sites you do not trust, do not block sites you do trust, they will not run right or at all.  Avoid sites that convert youtube files to mp3's or mp4's, most will try to trick you into downloading a malware "download manager" or barrage you with malicious pop-ups.  And never, ever provide personal information such as an SSN, or passport number, or phone number, to an email no matter how legit or threatening it is.  All the things I mention do not take time, make them habit.  I've installed and managed WANS from the late 80's until I retired in 2015, worldwide, and my advice resulted in zero downtime for my employers and clients, and no reformats or reloads of operating systems or loss of data.  When I was a WAN admin for an insurance company I put out a newsletter to all of our employees with these tips and more, since we let them browse the web during their breaks and lunches if they wished.  It was a wise strategy on our part since it kept them close to the workplace and minimized sick time or personal leave.


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The "green lock" means that the transmission of data between you and the website is encrypted using a valid and trusted security certificate.  Nothing more.

It certainly does NOT mean that the contents of a given site can be trusted just because of that encrypted connection, and it never has.  Nor does the lack of one mean that a site is questionable, though I would certainly never conduct any business of any sort, or pass along personally identifiable information (including usernames/passwords) on anything other than one using HTTPS with a valid cert.


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Bottom line, make sure you have a good security system and a hot delete key.  The first protects you and the second dumps idiots.


Jim Driskell


James M Driskell, Maj USMC (Ret)



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