The two general ways to ensure that you are on a secure web page are:
  1. Look at the address bar—the web page URL should begin with "https"
  2. Look for the padlock icon in the status bar at the bottom of your browser
Web sites use certificates as part of a system for securing online information and transactions. Typing https:// into the web site address instead of the standard http:// activates the certificate. (Your browser may display an alert that you are about to view pages over a secure connection.)

Once you are on a secure site, you can check the certificate by double-clicking the padlock icon, displayed on the status bar. This displays the security certificate for the site.

Various browsers have different ways of indicating to the user whether security is in effect. Be aware that security is set on each web page, so some pages within a web site may be secure while others are not. If the page contains information that is considered to be sensitive, such as your password, account number, or Social Security number, the page should be secure and all information encrypted.

To get more detailed information on security in effect while connected to the secure site, click "View" on the top menu, then click "Page Info." You can read the security certificate in the resulting screen.

Any time a web page asks you for sensitive information, you must be able to identify if the page is secure or not. The ability to recognize a secure web connection is extremely important, especially as online fraud cases continue to rise.