What to Look For in Your Address Bar

The Internet gives you the world at your fingertips. But visiting the wrong web pages, even accidentally can cause trouble. Your screen could lock up, random downloads could save, or malicious parties might steal your information. Read on to learn what you can do.

Two ways you can check the web page you’re on is by ensuring the address bar has no typos and matches the name of the site you’re on.

What’s https:// got to do with it?

This prefix should be found in front of every URL you have in your address bar, like you see in the photo below.

The extra ‘s’ means the website is secure and any communication between your internet browser and the site is encrypted. It shows the site has an SSL certificate and is secure.

Is the Little Lock Enough? 

If the site has an SSL certificate the lock to the left of your URL will be closed (like above) or green.

You can click on the lock for more information. Above we used Microsoft Edge browser v. 44.1, clicked on the lock to search “Should I trust this site” in the Bing search engine.

You’ll be able to click on the icon to the left of the address bar for more information, even when the site isn’t secure, like below.

Different internet browsers now use security features to flag sites that have been breached and warn you when that extra ‘s’ in https is missing.

However, you can always check manually by clicking on the lock to the left of the URL to verify the SSL certificate has been issued and the site is safe.

Like we did in Mozilla Firefox v. 63.0.3 above, you’ll also be able to check the website name against the URL that appears in your address bar.

One tool that can help you stay on reliable sites with ease is McAfee WebAdvisor. It’s free and available for all browsers.

While we’re on the subject of browsers, it’s always a good idea to keep them clean and clear out old extensions while you download that new McAfee one.

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