A year ago I wrote about shopping on line and about the meaning of ‘https’ before the address of site you wished to enter, and importantly also about the little icon of a padlock ahead of the URL or address.
The hackers are as busy as ever trying to get your personal information, especially when
you are shopping, because they know that your credit card details will most likely appear at the payment stage, so that is an opportune time to steal your details.
When you look up to the left of your screen and in front of the address of the shopping site you should see the padlock icon, it means your connection is private. When you see it you’ll know that the information you provide is encrypted and scrambled as it travels thus ensuring that someone else cannot intercept the information you supply.
Unfortunately, too many people are unaware of the existence of the padlock or what it means and many has had their personal details hacked when they used unguarded websites for shopping.
Normally the padlock icon is green and all is well, but something can go wrong with even a protected site in which case the icon colour will change to red or yellow. The website owners did at least try to offer protection, but something went wrong with the code.
Please note that many perfectly safe websites do not appear to have the padlock icon or ‘https:’ before the address, but when it comes to pay you are usually directed to a safe page which then displays the ‘https’ [s for safe] and or the green padlock icon ahead of the address.
There is great pressure to have all shopping sites using the padlock icon, but until they do stay safe and shop only where you see the green icon or ‘https:’. It makes things so much more difficult for hackers and that is a good thing.
For members using the Firefox browser, the makers Mozilla said earlier last month it would put a red “X” next to URLs without a private connection if the websites asked you to enter a password. Last year, Mozilla said it will eventually stop supporting websites that don’t offer a safe connection. Google has made similar plans for the Chrome browser.
So with a bit of effort we may see the compromised websites gradually disappear and a safer environment for our shoppers.
Happy and safe shopping.