Learning to browse the internet securely is an essential skill for any internet user. Scammers are consistently developing new ways to steal your money, your information, and even your identity. Staying protected on the site should be a top priority for everyone. While “Ignorance is bliss” links in some situations, it most often doesn’t apply to time spent online. Most users are not aware that they don’t have to willingly download a malicious file, or else it could affect their privacy and device security. Malicious sites and downloads are not the only two ways with which your privacy can get compromised, but these are the most common ones. The article covers 5 practices including using tools like iOS VPN apps, that will help you avoid malicious websites.
What is a Malicious Website?
A malicious website is a site that tries to install malware onto your device that will damage the software on your computer and steal your private information or, in the worst-case, gain total access to your devices.
Malicious websites often look like legit ones. Sometimes these websites will ask you to download software that your system seemingly needs for optimal performance. For instance, a video site might ask you to download a codec. You might be used to downloading particular codecs, but it only takes one insecure installation to compromise the security of your device and your confidential data stored in it. Likewise, the website might ask for permission to install one program but install an entirely different one that you do not want on your device.
How to Avoid Such Websites?
Don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Here are 5 ways that can help you avoid malicious websites.
⦁ Don’t Click Suspicious Links
Cybercriminals love to send pretentious links to unwary victims by email. Have you ever received any mail from your bank that actually doesn’t look right? Clicking the link will take you to a new site that seems like your bank’s, but scammers are running it, created to do nothing but take your user name and password.
It’s not only “bank” emails, though. Dating websites, social networking websites, or even shopping sites – fraudsters will use anything to get you to click through.
⦁ Check the Site’s Security
When searching a new shopping website for the first time, you need to pay close attention to their security. Luckily, this is much simpler than it sounds.
As you click the link, take a look at the web browser’s address bar. Does the address start with HTTPS? Is there a padlock icon? If yes, all traffic between your device and the website is encoded so that no one can steal your information.
Unfortunately, users can compromise this security check. Attackers can buy Secure Socket Layers (SSL) certificates for their site to make it more challenging to spot a scam. To see how trustworthy the website is, tap on the padlock icon and check the certificate details. If the type of the certificate is listed as “extended validation”, you know that the website is owned by the company – and is entirely legitimate.
⦁ Use VPN
You can use an iOS VPN that keeps your iOS devices secure from attackers. It connects to global VPN servers, activates one-click VPN protection, and unblocks popular streaming services. It also protects your device while connected to public Wi-Fi. iOS VPNs offer high-quality encryption and provide unlimited bandwidth. It also protects your IP from leaking and your data from being exposed to your ISP and other companies. Using a VPN is the perfect way to protect your data.
⦁ Don’t Guess the Web Address
Guessing the web address is a significant reason people end up on dangerous sites without much effort. If you’re unsure about the URL of the site you want to go to, look for it in a search engine in your Safari browser.
The closely spelled website might be full of advertisements or malware, or it might look a lot like the website you wanted to get on. Still, instead of permitting you to log in to your bank, social media profile, email, etc., it might gather your password and then steal your data.
When in doubt, just do a fast search for the website on Google or any other search engine to look up the real URL.
⦁ Use a Link Scanner
One more way to prevent threatening websites is to use software to scan the site to look for malicious items. There are two ways: either install an antivirus program or run the suspicious link through an online malware scanner. If you download a link scanning program on your device, you can set it up and let it do its work automatically to search for inappropriate sites on the go. An online scanner still has to be used manually for each page you want to check.
Though other manual security checks may fail, using an iOS VPN and an antivirus can be your safest bet. There are iOS VPN services that can significantly help iOS users stay safe from malware. Some VPN services check up the URLs against their list of malicious domains. Also, some search engines contain link scanners by default. In those scenarios, a dialog box will tell you before the page loads that it might be insecure to continue, and you should take note of those warnings.