Online scammers are using the browser padlock to fool victims

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Online scammers are using the browser padlock to fool victims

If your browser displays the padlock symbol it doesn't necessarily mean a site is safe to visit.

If you look for the padlock icon in your web browser to determine if a web site is safe, then you’re at risk of being scammed.

That’s a warning from cybersecurity company Webroot, which estimates that a third of scam sites display the padlock symbol. The symbol indicates a site uses HTTPS to encrypt information exchanged with you.

As the Webroot report points out, the padlock symbol means the data you exchange with it is private. But it doesn’t mean the site owners won’t use that information for illegal purposes.

And it’s “no longer especially difficult” to buy a security certificate needed for sites to display the HTTPS padlock symbol, claims the report.

Of course, this is another reason to ensure you keep your cybersecurity up to date, use a web filter and don't rely just on the HTTPS symbol to determine if a site is safe.

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