When doing business online, use these tips to make sure that the website is secure before entering personal information such as your name, card number, or other identifying details.
- Make sure the website begins with “https” instead of “http.” This means the website has undergone a security validation process to receive an SSL Certificate. If the address bar is green and has a tiny lock at the beginning, the website has an EV Certificate, which means it’s gone through a verification process to ensure the business is legitimate.
- Check the spelling. Many fraudsters create fake websites using a similar web address to the real website. (For example, www.redwodcu.org as opposed to www.redwoodcu.org.) The fake site may have company logos and look authentic.
- If it’s a business you’re unfamiliar with, do a little research before trusting them with your personal information. Often, a quick web search will reveal details about the company such as a physical address, phone number, company principals, etc. If the website has few concrete details, it may not be a legitimate business. It is important to research those details to be sure this is a trusted website.
- If you come across a pop-up or receive an email or text message asking you to click a link, hover over the link without clicking. This will reveal the true address of the link. Scrutinize this address to determine whether it seems legitimate. Often, fraudsters use these links to install malware on your device or to take you to a website that will ask you for your personal information. Do not click the link if it seems suspicious in any way.
It’s important to take the time to ensure you are doing business with a legitimate, trusted company before providing your card or account information online. If you believe you have inadvertently provided your information to a suspicious website, let us know immediately so we can help protect your account.