“My browser says that I am connected to a “Not secure” site… What do I do?”
Don’t panic. This really isn’t that much of a problem. No one is attempting to hack your computer. If you are using the chrome browser, the “Not secure” designation to the left of the website name means that the site doesn’t have a certificate to verify itself. Other browsers will not display the little lock to the left of the URL or web address. Think of a certificate like your driver’s license or passport. It proves that you are you. Clicking on the “Not secure” or the “i” will tell you that the site isn’t secure and you shouldn’t enter any passwords or personal information. The website hasn’t properly IDed itself. It could be that the owner of the website doesn’t consider verification important and wants to save the money that would be spent on a certificate or it could be that your desired website is being impersonated.
You should be concerned if you are attempting to log into your bank. There have been imposter websites on the Internet that are created to steal user account information. There are a couple of ways to impersonate a website that don’t require a computer genius. A victim thinks that they are at their bank website and provides their user name and password at the fake login page. The hacker is able to log into the victim’s account with the information provided to the fake page.
Most people panic when they see “Not secure”. “Someone got on my computer…” If you use an Internet service, your computer is likely connected to the Internet through a modem device that functions as a firewall that will isolate you from a direct contact threat. It is not easy to get on someone’s computer unless the victim participates. A victim may receive email that contains a program that will allow a hacker access to the victim’s computer. Usually the victim must open the email and execute the program in the email for the scheme to work. If the victim downloads programs from questionable sources, they shouldn’t be surprised to discover that their computer has been compromised.
“Hold your cards close…” You really don’t want to divulge more information than is necessary. That is a common security concept. You only need to tell someone what they need to know to complete a task. When using social media, don’t tell your life story to a stranger.
Always use an antivirus to help protect your computer but you are the first line of defense against antiviruses and Internet threats. Use common sense when you use the Intenet.