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Can I access a non-secure website?

As important as online security and privacy may be, sometimes, as an internet user, you still come across non-secure websites.

These are websites that are not marked as secure. This is usually because these sites use the HTTP protocol instead of the more secure HTTPS. This means that the data transferred between the website and the user is not encrypted.

Our article discusses the risks of accessing non-secure websites and gives you tips on visiting such sites.

Risks when opening an unsecured website

1. Data theft

Because data sent to and from an unsecured website is not encrypted, shady characters can more easily intercept personal information such as login details, credit card numbers and other sensitive data.

2. Manipulation

Unsecured connections are more susceptible to ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks, where a hacker can intercept and manipulate communications between the user and the website.

3. Loss of trust

Visitors will soon lose trust in insecure websites. This is mainly because browsers mark such sites as insecure.

Opening non-secure websites: take your precautions

1. Be careful with personal information

Avoid entering personal information, such as passwords or financial details, on non-secure websites. If you really must log in or register, make sure you verify the authenticity and reliability of the website.

2. Use a secure connection whenever possible

Look for an HTTPS version of the website by manually entering “https://” before the URL. Some sites may support both secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) connections.

3. Consider using a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help protect your data when navigating a non-secure website. For example, by creating an encrypted tunnel for your internet traffic.

4. Be alert to browser warnings

Browsers warn users when they are about to visit a non-secure website. Take these warnings seriously and consider whether it is really necessary to click through.

5. Update your browser

Make sure your browser is up-to-date. Then you can always rely on the latest security measures and alert systems.

Conclusion

Although there are risks involved in navigating non-secure websites, you can minimise these risks with the right precautions.

Be aware of the limitations of non-encrypted connections and take steps to protect your personal information online. It is always better to put security over convenience and look for alternative, more secure websites whenever possible.

Updated on 30 May 2024

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