How many websites do you open in a day? Go ahead, check your browser history. If you use a computer for work it’s probably in the hundreds.
More importantly: how many sites did you visit for the first time? While most of the sites you browse are relatively harmless, simply visiting a site can allow a hacker to view and steal your sensitive data.
A malicious website can look authentic (often mimicking another popular site) but is actually attempting to gather sensitive information, compromise another website you have open, or install malware on your computer. You can identify a malicious website by checking:
URL: These sites often have a similar URL to the real thing with a slightly different spelling or format.
Encryption: Authentic websites show a secure, certified connection right away. Illegitimate or spoofed websites often do not (though malicious but non-spoofed, websites can still have a certificate)
Presentation: Malicious websites often have a poor layout, frequent grammar errors, and misspellings—sometimes you can’t tell why, but they just don’t look right.
For hackers, malicious websites are an easy and effective way to take advantage of users and undermine your security. Fortunately for you, there are some things you can do to block malicious websites and protect your information. Here are our top four tips on how to block malware.
1. Don’t Click Links in Emails
Fraudulent emails are a hacker’s favorite way to drive traffic to malicious sites. These emails can appear to be from a recognized sender, like your bank, a retail store, or a social networking site, and can be easily spoofed to look real. The sites they link to may also look legitimate. These emails, and the websites they lead to, are usually designed by scammers to fool you into giving up your password, social security number, or other personal info.
You can avoid falling victim to this scam by never clicking links in emails. Instead, go to your web browser and type in a known URL manually or use Google to find the right site.
2. Check Site Security and Encryption
Shopping on secure, encrypted websites keeps your credit card number and other sensitive information safe. When you’re on the checkout page, look at the URL — does it start with “https” with a padlock icon next to it? If so, the connection between your computer and the website is encrypted, so hackers can’t take your data in transit. You can also check site security by clicking on the padlock icon, then clicking on the certificate information.
3. Use Anti-Malware Software
Anti-malware software helps protect you from malicious websites that seek to cause harm to your computer. These programs are designed to block malware like viruses from running, monitor your computer for suspicious behavior, and even block you from visiting known malicious websites altogether.
4. Use Network Filtering Software and Avoid High-Risk Sites
Certain categories of internet content typically have a higher concentration of malicious websites. Be careful around sketchy parts of the web like pirating, streaming, and gambling sites. To be more proactive here, your organization can use network filtering software to block entire categories of sites.
Get Malicious Website Protection With Kinetix Today
Kinetix provides IT strategy, support, and security for startup and high-growth organizations. We use our experience with more than 150 clients to offer Security Essentials, a package of the most cost-effective security tools to protect businesses from the vast majority of cybersecurity threats. The team at Kinetix is ready to develop a tailored cybersecurity plan for your unique needs.