Trust but verify’ is a concept that explains the importance of authenticating reliable information before taking any action. With advancement in technology, the World Wide Web has become one of the main sources of information. Unfortunately, the rates of Cyber Crimes such as hacking, fraud and cyber bullying among other have increased continuously.
Most people fall victims of cybercrime because of taking action before verifying the legitimacy of the information given on the Web. Safe Web browsing should be a personal initiative that each and every one of us should take. Below are some of the ways to incorporate ‘Trust but Verify’ to ensure safe web browsing.
1. SSL Certificate
Google issues the SSL certificate after verification of the website. For any verified site, the URL begins with “https’ instead of http.’ The extra S’ stands for secure. The information is displayed on the address bar. SSL security ensures any data provided on the website is secure. However, there are two levels of SSL certificate which are:
• Domain Validation (DV)
The level of a certificate issued depends on the verification process. For DV, Google verifies merely the ownership of the domain. Unfortunately, the legitimacy of the company is not authenticated.
• Extended Validation (EV)
This is the highest validation done by Google. The organization has to verify both the ownership of the domain and the legitimacy of the organization. To confirm the EV, the address bar displaces a green locked icon.
2. Gray Padlock Warning
The gray padlock warning is one of the common features used to check the validity of the website on Firefox Browser. The gray padlock appears on the address bar. The features come in two forms which include;
• Yellow triangular warning
To identify this warning, a gray padlock appears with a yellow triangle at the beginning of the address bar. This shows that Firefox is unable to fully verify the legitimacy of the site since the validation certificates presented are unauthenticated and from unreliable authority.
• Red horizontal line
To identify this warning a gray padlock appears with a red horizontal line at the beginning of the address bar. The warning indicates that Firefox cannot verify the legitimacy of the website since validation certificate has not been issued.
3. Red Triangular Warning
This warning appears as a red triangular icon with an exclamation mark. The icon appears at the beginning of the address bar followed by the words not secure or dangerous’. Computer experts highly advise against entering personal information on such websites. If possible, the best thing is to avoid such sites entirely.
According to a report from the FBI, America has incurred a financial loss of up to $1.3 billion in the last one year as a result of cybercrime. The report goes ahead and predicts a 24% increase in 2018 if no action is taken. Therefore it’s highly advisable for everyone to be vigilant when it comes to safe browsing.