Safer Internet: Browsing: Go to the Correct Site



  • + An insecure, impostor or malicious site might trick you into providing personal details or downloading malware.
  • - It requires you to pay attention and click intentionally.


  • 404Go to the site you really want; avoid fake/dangerous/look-a-like sites
  • Typos & look-alike characters in site addresses (URLs) could lead you to malicious, impostor sites -- or insecure versions (HTTP: vs. HTTPS:)
  • Think twice before clicking on links in an email
  • Think twice before clicking on links in popups, or unknown links in web pages, esp. ads
  • Use browser bookmarks/favorites or a password manager to navigate, rather than typing or unofficial links
  • For secure sites, check HTTPS: and verify status (lock icon or certificate)
  • Enable phishing/malware/plugin warnings: Connection : Malware
  • macOS: Safari > Preferences > Security > Fraudulent sites [screenshot]
  • macOS: Firefox > Preferences > Security > Block reported attack sites / web forgeries / add-ons
  • macOS: Chrome > Settings (advanced) > Privacy > Protect you and your device from dangerous sites
  • iOS: Settings > Safari > Privacy & Security > Fraudulent Website Warning [screenshot]
  • Use browser's built-in Search box, or combo Address field, rather than typing ""
  • In search results, look for "Official Site" or at actual URL to determine if expected destination
  • Some search engines hide addresses in favor of more human readable names.


  • Show links in status bar; inspect before you click
  • macOS: Safari > View > Show Status Bar
  • Display full address (URL) in address/location bar
  • macOS: Safari > Preferences > Advanced > Show Full Website Address
  • iOS: Safari > (tap in address bar)
  • Due to shortening or normal redirects, you may not be seeing the 'real', final URL, e.g.,
  • There are several sites that follow any redirects and display the final destination
  • e.g., LongURL, CheckShortURL
  • Instead of this manual process, you could install a browser extension that displays final URL via popup, status area (if overlap, hide regular status bar), or in-line (in page itself)
  • Safari: Ultimate Status Bar note: from my 4 examples, only recognized
  • Firefox: No Redirect, Long URL Please Mod
  • Chrome: LongURL
  • Avoid DNS problems: see Connection : Wi-Fi (Router)


Fake News, Hoaxes