‘Lock Icon’ Does Not Guarantee Safety of a Website


People have now been aware of the fact that the website starting with HTTPS and the lock icon before in the address bar simply means that the website one has entered is safe and secure. But the fact has slightly changed with time as the criminals have caught up and are successfully including the verification certificates for the websites that are specially designed to steal your information. An alert has been recently published where the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) of the bureau has warned the people that the scammers are using the public’s trust in the website certificates as a part of the phishing campaigns.

The HTTPS protocol assures that the connection to a given website is secure and prevents man-in-the-middle and other attacks from spying on information going to and from the website. Nevertheless, the HTTPS protocol does absolutely nothing to ensure that the site itself is benign. It has been found in the current ongoing scams that the criminals are sending the phishing emails in the pretention to be from an acquaintance or official website. But in reality, the links in the emails go to the malicious websites presenting as the legitimate services using the HTTPS as the cover.

The FBI has offered some tips to avoid becoming a victim, of which the first thing is absolutely not to trust the name on an email and question the intent of the email content. Secondly, if you ever receive a suspicious email containing a link from a known or familiar contact, con firm if the email is legitimate by calling or emailing the contact but you should never reply directly to a suspicious message. Thirdly, check for the misspellings or wrong domains in a links (for example is a supposed to be .gov domain replaced by .com instead). Finally, do not trust a website just because it contains a lock icon or HTTPS at the beginning in the browser address.

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