Stay clear of malicious websites

Symptoms

You visit a website to donate money for a charitable cause or buy a product. Soon, you realize that your credit-card information is being used by someone else to make purchases. You have fast-exhausting credit limit and bills with transactions you haven’t made.

Prognosis

A maliciously coded website is the cause for this. Often, unscrupulous parties create a fake sign-in page, where you enter your credit-card details unknowingly. Maliciously coded websites could also redirect you to other sites, install keyloggers, spyware or adware, or steal passwords. Cross-site scripting (XSS) also enables malicious authors to make use of your browser’s vulnerabilities for nefarious purposes.

Prevention

Limit the use of your credit card online. Use it only on websites that have trusted security certificates. Use other modes of payment, such as PayPal or offline methods like cheque payments, if possible. Set your browser’s security settings to higher than the default; and regularly install available security patches for your browser. This will ensure that even if you do visit a maliciously coded website accidentally, the site will not be able to exploit any vulnerability in your browser.

Also read:

Blocking unsolicited visitors