Ask yourself: where do you usually go to if you have some complex problems that you don’t know the answer to? The majority of the population would say that they use search engines to answer their questions. Since people use search engines, they’re sometimes funnelled towards sites that can give them an answer to our problem. However, there will be times that sites with malicious intent will use search engines as a means of getting sensitive personal information from people.
In this age, it would be quite rare for a person to have never accessed the Internet, let alone, have been influenced by it at some point in their lives. Almost any business around the world is somehow connected to it. It can be a small-scale business that’s using social media to advertise its products or a corporate giant that needs to maintain servers for millions of personal profiles.
Additionally, most financial advisory firms and insurance companies are not equipped with the right preventive measures to counter cyber attacks. In most instances, ransomware and phishing sites will attain sensitive personal information by deceiving unsuspecting users and charging them obscene amounts of money.
One thing’s for sure: people will always go to websites. But the majority are not aware of the different security risks going to an insecure site could pose to their information and device.
Signs of a Secure Site
Since there are a lot of malicious entities on the Internet that’s ready to spring out to catch sensitive information, people will need to be vigilant on the red flags of a compromised site. So what are some signs that you should look out for?
The most common red flag that you’ll see when you’re going to a compromised site is that your browser won’t access the site while a prompt will say that it’s a risky site. The only time that you can get inside is by tweaking the advanced settings.
In most cases, this failsafe feature is only present among newer browsers. You’ll need to update your applications as well.
The S in HTTP
Ever wondered what the first few characters in the URL are? Well, HTTP stands for “HyperText Transfer Protocol” while the S at the end means “Secure.” When going into these types of sites, the website will automatically encrypt the user’s information before transmitting it to the webserver.
That means that the information that’s being sent is less likely to be “caught” by an unauthorized entity. What does that mean? Imagine you and your friend are on opposite sides of a table, but you have to give a message to them. You’ll have to hand it over to them. But as soon as you reach out, a thief decides to snatch it from your hand. However, that’s not going to happen since you’re a secure location. In the same way, a secure website values your information.
Additionally, sites with HTTPS means that the website’s owner has been going the extra mile to pay for added security for their site. So look for that “s” after the HTTP as it could save your data from being stolen.
Working Contact Information
A background check on the site won’t hurt. If there is any contact information that you can look up, try calling the number. Most phishing and suspicious sites will just have a dummy “contact us” page for display. In reality, these sites want to achieve as much credibility as possible.
Even if a site has a piece of working contact information and address, you can’t be too sure, and every other detail should be weighed in.
If a site produces original content, it’s a sign that the site’s owner has been putting effort into creating credible content for everyone. If you’re having second thoughts on the credibility and originality of the content, there are dozens of free plagiarism checkers that you can use to check these out.
However, don’t rely too much on the site just because it has original content. Again, all the other signs should be considered.
How Are Financial Advisors Ready For Cyber Attacks?
For financial advisory consulting firms, some are not prepared to handle cyber attacks, phishing sites, and ransomware. With thousands of users being duped into giving their sensitive information either by voluntarily typing it in a fake website or from malware, it’s no surprise that trading and management firms being prime targets.
However, there are also consulting firms who would advise in tightening cybersecurity in a variety of ways. Some of these practices include:
- Addressing third-party risks and remote outsourcing
- Performing extensive audits to key assets
- Building a professional relationship with IT and cybersecurity firms that can mitigate the risks of cyberattacks
- Having a team that is ready to respond in case of a data breach.
There are different ways of knowing that a site is secure. Most of the time, you don’t even have to look into the minute details of these sites as you can search up online reviews. If you’re in doubt about the security of your website, you can always seek the help of a consulting firm that has widespread connections in the IT and cybersecurity industry. You’d want to be successful in your endeavours, and the best way of doing that is to keep your assets and capital secure.
But you won’t have to worry if you’re just clicking on sites on any search engine since most will filter out dangerous ones. So unless you’re clicking on links that seem to be fishy, you’re in the clear with unsecured sites.