Is My Connection Secure?
When you request or submit sensitive personal information over the Internet one of the questions that may arise: "Is my connection with the service provider's website secure?" In other words you want to know whether the information that is being transmitted back and forth between your computer and the website will be safely delivered, without any interception by a third party. To help you answer this question, next time you are in doubt, we will give you a few basic, but very effective tips.
Pay Attention to Your Browser
Each major browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari, will have its own way of showing the status of your connection. Usually a browser will notify a user of secure connection by displaying a special icon (sometimes called Security Button, Identity Button, etc.)
For example at the time of posting this article Firefox was using the following icons:
One of them would be displayed at the address bar next to the webpage's address, similar to this:
As you have probably already guessed the green padlock indicates that connection is encrypted. Moreover the browser let's you know that the address has been verified using an EV or Extended Validation certificate, which is a more rigorous identity verification process. If you click on the name of the company (in the case above - PayPal, Inc.), you will learn more about the domain owner.
The gray padlock will indicate the fact that the website's address has been verified and the connection is encrypted. It proves that the person or the company that owns this domain maintains a current certificate. In other words - your connection is secure. However, you don't get to know who actually owns the certificate.
The orange warning triangle means that website you are requesting the information from will not supply its identity information or/and some elements displayed on the page have been transmitted to your computer without the use of encryption. If you see this icon, you should use caution and do not submit your login credentials, credit card information or any other type of personal or sensitive information.
Most of websites that you visit will probably have a gray globe. While you browse pages that don't require passing sensitive information, it's ok to see this icon. However, never enter any personal or sensitive information on a page that is marked with the gray globe.
Google Chrome browser provides its own set of icons. Instead of the gray globe users will be presented with this icon . The green padlock and the orange warning triangle will retain the same meaning. In addition Chrome introduces a crossed-out red padlock , which indicates that it detected either high-risk insecure content on the page or problems with the site's certificate. Never enter your personal information on such pages.
The following list of links will let you learn the peculiarities of your own browser: