Visiting an Unsecured HTTP Site? 5 Ways to Encrypt and Secure Your Data

In contrast to HTTPS, an unsecured HTTP site does not encrypt your data as it passes from your browser to the website’s server. It does not have SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption—which changes your communication into random characters to keep it hidden from outsiders—making it easier for cybercriminals to access user data.


Currently, most browsers can identify between secure and unsecured websites by displaying a lock icon for encrypted and a “Not Secure” alert for unencrypted sites. As soon as you see that alert, you should ensure that you are protecting your data by taking the security practices listed below.

1. Use Up-to-Date Software

antivirus software protecting your machine

Malicious websites, or those that attempt to install malware on your device, are often operated via unsecured HTTP. By infecting your system, hackers can take full control of your computer and steal sensitive information, like financial information, usernames, and passwords.

Just visiting the malicious website can be enough to allow the hacker to infect your device; you don’t even need to click on any links or download any software intentionally. Malware is automatically downloaded into your computer without your knowledge when you visit an unsecured website.

Drive-by download attacks are a type of hacking method that is widespread on compromised and unsecured HTTP websites. Every time someone visits the website, a malicious script created by hackers is activated, remotely scanning the user’s device for vulnerabilities it can use to spread malware.

The malware can quickly install itself onto the computer if the victim’s browsers, applications, operating systems, or plug-ins are outdated. The malware can quickly install itself onto the computer if the victim’s browsers, applications, operating systems, or plug-ins are outdated. Unsafe links or pop-up adverts on websites often direct you to a new tab and ask you to download a specific software when you click on them. Even clicking the “X” to close an ad can help attackers infect your computer with malware.

Hackers can exploit the malware that has been installed to steal your data, mainly to monitor your network activity and traffic, destroy information, prevent your device from functioning properly, and even send more malicious software to your computer.

You must keep your operating system, browsers, extensions, and other applications with internet access updated to keep your device protected. If they haven’t been patched with the most recent security updates, hackers can take advantage of that vulnerability to attack your system.

Most importantly, we recommend installing antivirus software that is up-to-date. Drive-by downloads take place silently without your knowledge, but antivirus software can quickly detect them.

2. Download Security Add-ons

security addons secure your browsing

Your antivirus application will protect your entire system, but when you visit an unsecured HTTP website, you can need an additional layer of protection. Security add-ons or extensions are small bits of software that can help enhance the security and privacy of your browser.

Security add-ons can disable trackers, encrypt passwords, block pop-up advertising, and even identify whether a website is secure. A range of security extensions are available for major online browsers, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Opera, and Microsoft Edge.

We recommend the following security add-ons:

  • AVG Link Scanner: Its built-in website security scanner prevents malware and phishing attacks on unsafe websites.
  • Bitdefender TrafficLight: This checks every website you visit and restricts any parts of the site that have malicious content.
  • Dashlane: Dashlane is an encrypted password manager, which means that even if a hacker discovers your usernames, they will not be able to access your accounts.
  • Web of Trust: This uses machine learning (ML) algorithms, security checks, and reviews/rating checks to scan websites for malicious activity.

Browser extensions can effectively conflict with one another, reducing the impact of the other. So, you should apply the “less is more” rule when it comes to browser extensions.

Moreover, download browser extensions from your preferred browser’s official web store and do some background research on the developer to make sure the add-ons are safe.

3. Use a VPN

switching server locations using a VPN

Your IP address should not be made public on an unsafe website because doing so could expose your location and put you at risk. Hackers can obtain your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) using your IP address, which includes your security number, birthdate, and other details. They may sell your data on the dark web or use it to engage in cybercrimes.

You can avoid all this trouble by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which replaces your IP address with a different one. In order to secure your real location, hackers will only be able to see the IP address of the VPN server you are connected to instead of your real IP address. Plus, all data traveling between networks is encrypted, i.e. rendered unreadable without a proper decryption key!

4. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

2FA on google

Make sure that two-factor authentication (2FA) is activated on all of your accounts. To access your account with 2FA, you must enter a one-time passcode that you will receive through email or text message. Even if hackers gain access to your login credentials, they won’t have access to the one-time passcode.

Thankfully, most malware downloaded by unsecured websites cannot infect your network or SIM card, preventing attackers from getting hold of your 2FA passcode.

Two-factor authentication will shield you if the website redirects you to a fake page that asks you to log into your account. The fact that the fake website won’t request a one-time passcode is a clear indication that it isn’t the legitimate website of your provider.

Even though hackers can sometimes bypass two-factor authentication, it is still an additional security measure that is worth it for account protection.

5. Clean Your History, Cookies, and Cache

how to clear browsing history on chrome

While clearing your browsing history can eliminate page redirects to unfamiliar websites and pop-up adverts, it does nothing to remove malware from your system. It does, however, delete any saved passwords or usernames.

Your passwords won’t be stored on your browser any longer, so even if your computer is hacked, the attackers won’t be able to access your login credentials.

Why Should You Avoid Visiting Unsecured HTTP Sites?

Unsecured HTTP sites lack encryption, putting your personal data, identity, and passwords at risk of being compromised. When visiting HTTP websites, the risk can be reduced if you don’t enter any personal information and take the necessary precautions, but it’s still better to avoid unsecured sites.

Since HTTP is not encrypted and thus not as secure as HTTPS, most online browsers, including Chrome, have changed their default URL protocol to “https://”.


🧪 |Medical Laboratory Scientist 🥇 | Mindset over Everything. 
 🤝 | Let's Grow Together.

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