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Safe Internet Tips at the Teton County Library

It’s important to feel confident when you’re entering credit card onto a website.  How can you tell if a website is secure or not? Why do some websites have a green ribbon next to their address and others a red one?  What is an EV SSL Certificate? Here’s a really simple and short (3 min) video from Common Craft explaining how one can decipher whether a website is secure or not.  Common Craft is a teaching website that aims to take fairly confusing topics and explain them in simple terms in short videos.  Other videos from this site that you may find interesting are: “Computer Viruses and Threats,“ “World Wide Web,“ “Computer Hardware,“ and “Cloud Computing”.  Check ‘em out!

You may find it comforting to know that the web browsers on our adult Internet computers at the Teton County Library automatically clear the Internet “cache” when you are done using them. This includes those pesky “cookies”. An example of a cookie would be when you go to check your e-mail on a site such as Hotmail and it remembers your account ID. It does that by saving cookies on the computer that you are using. If you see options on account access web pages that give you the choice to remember you or your password, it is always a good idea to decline those options on public computers. There are usually check boxes to select those options or not.

Try to use sites that are “secure” when personal information is being sent or viewed over the Internet. Some sites such as bank account access sites are secure. This means that the data that is sent back and forth between the computer you are using and the website host is encrypted. So if you are looking at your checking account statement, the data is scrambled by the host and then unscrambled by your web browser so that you can ready it. Conversely, if you enter your credit card number on a secure site, it is scrambled by your web browser and then unscrambled at the host’s end. Different web browsers tell you that they are on secure websites in different ways. Some use a padlock symbol on the screen. Look for the website address in the address bar on the top of the browser window. If the site is secure, the address of the site will start with https as opposed to just http. For example; Google would be https://www.google.com if it were secure and http://www.google.com if it were not secure.