Spot Scam or Fake Websites with IT Support in Austin

Your business can invest in the most incredible IT systems, with amazing IT support in Austin and cutting-edge security policies, but if users on your systems aren’t up to speed with a basic security mindset, your organization can still face a considerable security threat. Fake websites are a big attack vector for businesses today but there are some key steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim on the web.

Scrutinize the Domain Name

Scammers and hackers often use domain names that look like an official domain. The domain name is the uppermost tier of a world wide web address. For example, in “www.thisplaceisnotreal.com/catalog/index/products.html”, the domain is “thisplaceisnotreal.com”. So, watch out for domain names that look 99% like the real thing but are oddly different. If in doubt, use a Google search to double check. Also, when doing internet banking, always enter the correct web address provided by your bank. Don’t click on a link to your bank that you find via a Google search.

Examine the TLD

Another way you and your employees can bolster IT support in Austin when using the web is by looking at the TLD or top level domain. The TLD is the last bit after the dot in the domain name. So, for our example above, the TLD is “.com”. Typically, legitimate businesses use the more commonly found and traditional TLDs, such as .com (for US and international businesses), .edu for academic institutions, .gov for government departments, and .org for organizations, such as charities, NGOs, and non-governmental regulatory bodies.

Each country has its own TLD, too. So, a Canadian business may use .ca and a British company may use .co.uk. However, they may also use .com.

What If You’re Not Sure About the TLD?

Another way to spot a more trustworthy business domain— though by no means is it 100% foolproof— is with security certificates. By now, the vast majority of businesses you can trust should be using secure web connections, known as https (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). Google downgrades the reliability of websites still using insecure “HTTP” connections, so savvy businesses will have already upgraded their servers. Your web browser will inform you if a web connection is secure by showing a suitable icon, typically a gray or green padlock. Also, if a website’s security certificate is not valid, the web browser should warn you.

Other Indicators

It’s a good idea to maintain a security-conscious mindset on the web. Even if the indicators above seem to check out, watch for other reasons to be suspicious. Does the style of copy on the website seem natural and correct? Are you being presented with an offer that seems too good to be true? Are worrying messages or alerts popping up, warning that viruses or hackers are in your system (especially if there are a lot that refuse to go away)? Are you being asked to download something you didn’t request?

These are just some basic ground rules you can establish in your company to help avoid security threats. Many of these can be mitigated automatically by IT support in Austin. Contigo Technology can help ensure systems like this are protecting you. For more information about our company and services, contact us today.