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The “Lock”

Posted by: In: Tips 21 Feb 2013 Comments: 0 Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

How can I tell if a web page is secured?

There are two general indications of a secured web page

1. Check the web page URL

Normally, when browsing the web, the URLs (web page addresses) begin with the letters “http”.  However, over a secure connection the address displayed should begin with “https” – note the “s” at the end.

Try it! – Visit our home page (http://www.ssl.com ).  Note the URL begins with the “http” meaning this page is not secure.  Click the link in the upper-right hand corner to “Log in”.  Notice the change in the URL?  It now begins with “https”, meaning the user name and password typed in will be encrypted before sent to our server.

2. Check for the “Lock” icon

There is a de facto standard among web browsers to display a “lock” icon somewhere in the window of the browser (NOT in the web page display area!)  For example, Microsoft Internet Explorer displays the lock icon in the lower-right of the browser window:

MS Internet Explorer Lock

As another example, Mozilla’s FireFox Web Browser displays the lock icon in the lower-left corner:

Mozilla FireFox Lock Icon

Google Chrome gives you the “lock” on the URL address line:

THE LOCK ICON IS NOT JUST A PICTURE!  Click (or double-click) on it to see details of the site’s security.  This is important to know because some fraudulent web sites are built with a bar at the bottom of the web page to imitate the lock icon of your browser!  Therefore it is necessary to test the functionality built into this lock icon.  Furthermore, it is very important to KNOW YOUR BROWSER!  Check your browser’s help file or contact the makers of your browser software if you are unsure how to use this functionality.

Try it! – Visit our home page (http://www.ssl.com ).  Click the link to “Log in” to initiate a secure session.  Note the lock icon display in YOUR browser.  Click the icon, or double-click (varies by browser), and examine the security information displayed about the web site.  If there is no display at the bottom of your browser try clicking “View” in the main menu and make sure “Status Bar” is checked.

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