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Identify Secure and Trusted Websites

Stick to ones with good reputations

You’re much safer online if you go to only those sites with good reputations. These may be sites of companies you already know and trust, or sites that your browser or a third-party program indicates is trustworthy.

There are several tools to help you identify trusted websites:

  • Check before you click. All the major browsers we mention in the preceding section provide a feature that advises you on the trustworthiness of websites. Products such as McAfee SiteAdvisor do this as well. These are fabulous tools that let you know, before you click a search result, if the website is likely to be dangerous and might download malware or spam. Such tools place a rating next to sites returned in a search to indicate how safe they are to visit. We strongly urge you to use this functionality: It will save you a great deal of grief.
  • Look for the site's privacy policy. Even when a site has been tested to ensure that it won’t dump malicious software on your computer, you still need to evaluate if the site is ethical. A site's privacy policy should answer your questions about how it treats and uses personal information and whether third parties will have access to your information, and it should provide assurances about the accuracy of the information on its website, its level of security and so on. If you can’t easily find the site’s privacy policy, go elsewhere!

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