Thursday, April 19, 2012

Certified and Validated

In this post, I will elaborate more on HTTPS. We previously discussed the term phishing in this blog. To summarize, phishing is an attempt to manipulate or trick a person into providing confidential information to an individual that is not authorized to receive such information. To protect yourself from phishing, recent web browsers have developed a way for checking if a website is valid or not.

Web browsers trust HTTPS websites based on certificate authorities which come pre-installed in their software. Examples of certificate authorities are “Microsoft” and “VeriSign”. In the example below, the bank's web site is verified by "VeriSign, Inc."

Always look for the green address bar. Recent web browsers show a green address bar in order to tell the user that this web site is legit and trustworthy. Its purpose is to give more confidence to the user and ensure them that they are visiting a trusted web site.

This issue plays an important role in Information Security. Next time you visit a web site make sure you look for the green address, especially web sites that ask for important and private information and web sites for payment transactions. To reassure yourself, check the certificate to know if this site is validated.

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