The Web's Shadiest Neighborhoods: What You Need to Know

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Minimize Consumer Risk

How to minimize risk for consumers.

Users should use caution when clicking on any links that have shady TLDs in them, if they encounter them in search results, email or social network environments. If unsure about the source, hover the mouse over a link to verify that it leads to the address displayed in the text of the link. Remember that you can "press and hold" a link on a mobile device (not just click) to verify that it leads to where it says it does. 

Much like in the streets of New York City in "Ghostbusters," suspicious activity is happening in varying degrees all over the web. The relative risk of visiting a website in a "shady" neighborhood can vary dramatically depending on who is managing the "residents" there.

What many users may not realize is that the letters following the "." in a website address represent a top-level domain (TLD) – essentially a "neighborhood" of addresses – maintained by a specific company or group. Ideally, TLDs would all be run by security-conscious operators who diligently review new domain name applications, and reject those that don't meet a stringent set of criteria.

Unfortunately, the reality for many of these new neighborhoods is that they go unpoliced, like Slimer wreaking havoc on the 12th floor of the Sedgewick Hotel. To avoid getting slimed, businesses and consumers need guidance to understand how safe, or how shady, these new TLDs may be considered for web security purposes.

Courtesy of Blue Coat research, let's take a closer look at the web's shadiest neighborhoods.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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