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Help Article - Good browsing practices

  • Using a web content filter. A very simple method of helping prevent malicious websites is by using a web filter such as uBlock. uBlock is a web browser add-on which works within your web browser.

  • Inspecting a webpage url. A malicious website may have a url which looks legitimate, such as yourbank.something.com where ‘yourbank’ is the name of your bank, and ‘something’ is an inconspicuous word. The key is to note that the domain you are viewing is ‘something.com’ where ‘yourbank’ is a subdomain of ‘something.com’. A website can create whatever subdomain they like so this isn’t a sign of authenticity.
    Also, websites requiring security will have a secure connection to their server. This is a good method to check you are connected to the page it appears you are connected.
    • In your web browser, on the left of the url of any webpage you are visiting will be an icon. If the webpage is delivered securely the icon will be a padlock. You can connect to hascomp securely through our payment page for example.
    • If both secure and non secure content is delivered, this icon may show something different such as an exclamation mark.
    • If the web browser finds a significant problem with the webpages certificate it will alert you. This could mean an expired certificate or a self signed certificate for example. You definitely want a valid certificate (no errors) for things like banking and email.
    • When a webpage is delivered securely, the url will begin with https, as opposed to http, which often isn't shown in the url.
    • Security in browsers uses complex math to produce a secure tunnel to an SSL/TLS enabled web server.
    • Clicking on the padlock icon will show information about the security certificate for the secure connection, such as the certificate signing authority.
    • If there is a problem, the browser will require you to override the issue to continue on modern web browsers.
    • Web browsers have built-in trusted certificate authorities (CA's), from whom certificates are granted.
    • A very in in-depth explanation of how https works is here.