Cyberspace is woven into the fabric of our daily lives and the world is more interconnected today than ever before. We enjoy the benefits and convenience that cyberspace provides as we shop online, bank using our Smartphones, and interact with friends from around the world through social networks.  With all that said, we all need to be aware of the risks when making purchases through the internet or when using Smartphones.  When using the internet or your Smartphone, follow the suggestions below to ensure your safety:

  • Use only trusted or reputable websites.
  • When making online purchases or entering personal information on a website you are not familiar with, ensure that the website displays a security certificate in your website browser. Look for a security icon – a small padlock - in the address bar next to the website's URL. On some websites, the address bar will also turn green:
    • Secure toolbar in IE Secure toolbar in Chrome
  • View the website's security certificate. You can do this by clicking on the lock icon in the browser and selecting "View Certificate" or "Certificate Information." This gives you more information about the website, who owns the site and who has issued the certificate.
  • Follow Windows certificate security warnings. Windows keeps a list of the most common Internet certificate authorities and alerts a user who is about to use a website that is using a certificate that is not part of this list. This helps warn a user to a potentially insecure and dangerous website that is attempting to pass itself off as certified.
  • Look for an Internet trust logo on the website, especially on pages with online forms. Internet trust organizations verify that a website has a valid privacy statement that protects the information you provide to the site. However, be careful of sites that display an Internet trust logo without a security certificate since the logos can be duplicated and displayed without real verification.
  • Look for contact information such as a phone number and street address on the website. If a website doesn't offer this information online, it may be a sign that the site should not be trusted.

For More Information

National Cyber Security Awareness Month