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Can Scam Websites Have HTTPS?

 Can Scam Websites Have HTTPS?

Scams are everywhere, and they’re particularly rampant online where unsuspecting victims cannot have a good look at their enemies. On the other hand, fraudsters can hide behind the anonymity of the internet to commit their crimes.

Unfortunately, scammers are getting better in their schemes. The Verizon data breach investigation report revealed that over 30% of breaches involved phishing. Meanwhile, over 240,000 Americans have become victims of these crimes in 2020, according to IC3.

For this reason, more Internet users are becoming vigilant of the websites they’re interacting with. These include looking for signs that they are legitimate and non-fraudulent, such as the HTTPS. But then, can scam websites have HTTPS?

The short answer is yes. The long answer begins by understanding what HTTPS is.

What Is HTTPS?

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that encrypts and decrypts user data to protect it from eavesdropping. HTTPS is more secure than HTTP.

When you connect to a website via HTTPS, the connection is encrypted using a security certificate. This ensures that your data cannot be intercepted and read by third parties.

HTTPS is used to protect sensitive information such as credit card numbers, login credentials, and personal information. Many websites use HTTPS to ensure the privacy of their users.

HTTP, on the other hand, is the unsecured version of the protocol. This means that data is not encrypted and can be easily intercepted by third parties. HTTP should only be used for non-sensitive information. In general, HTTPS is a more secure way to browse the internet and should be used whenever possible.

Now that we know what HTTPS is, let’s take a look at how scammers can abuse it.

How Scammers Can Abuse HTTPS?

If HTTPS protects transmitted data online, how can fraudsters use it for abuse? It’s because this protocol doesn’t discriminate between fake and authentic websites. It doesn’t have the capacity to tell which one is real.

While HTTPS is designed to protect user data, scammers can abuse it to commit their crimes. They can do this by setting up fake websites that use HTTPS to encrypt user data. This makes it difficult for users to detect that they are interacting with a scam website.

Scammers can also use HTTPS to make their phishing emails look more legitimate. Phishing is a type of online fraud where scammers send emails that appear to be from a legitimate source in order to trick victims into revealing personal information.

Sometimes a website can also lose its HTTPS. This happens when the website’s security certificate expires or is not properly configured. When this happens, the website will no longer be encrypted and will be vulnerable to attack.

Granted, before a website can secure an HTTPS, it needs to meet certain requirements, such as having a domain name and hosting. But these days, it’s easy to set up a website, even for scammers.

This is why you should be extra careful when interacting with websites, even if they have HTTPS.

How to Protect Yourself from Scammers Online

Make no mistake about it: HTTPS remains the best way to protect your data online. However, this doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down. You should still be careful of the websites you’re interacting with, even if they have HTTPS.

Here are some tips that can help you protect yourself from scammers online:

1. Check the Website’s URL

Scrutinize the website’s URL. It is likely more secure when HTTPS appears with a green lock icon. Check the spelling of the website. Does it look misspelled?

2. Be Careful of Suspicious Emails

Be careful of emails that ask you to click on a link or download an attachment. These could be phishing attempts. If you’re unsure about an email, contact the company directly to verify its legitimacy.

3. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Whenever possible, use two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect your online accounts. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password. This makes it more difficult for scammers to gain access to your accounts, even if they have your password.

4. Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

Make sure that you’re using the latest version of your web browser and other software. These updates often include security fixes that can help protect you from scammers.

5. Use a VPN

Consider using a VPN, especially when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi. A VPN encrypts your traffic and helps to protect your data from being intercepted by scammers.

6. Read Reviews about the Website

Before you make a purchase from an online store, take the time to read reviews about the website. This can help you avoid scammers who set up fake websites to steal your money.

7. Use a Secure Payment Method

Whenever possible, use a secure payment method like PayPal or a credit card. These payment methods offer some protection if you’re scammed.

8. Be Careful of Free Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is convenient, but it’s also easy for scammers to set up fake networks to steal your data. If you must use public Wi-Fi, be sure to connect to a VPN first.

These are just some of the things you can do to protect yourself from scammers online. Remember, even if a website has HTTPS, that doesn’t mean it’s safe. You should still be careful about the websites you’re interacting with and the information you’re sharing.