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IE9: What Does Different Colours in Address Bar Mean? – Tips to Secure Online Transactions

A secure online transaction is an encrypted exchange of information between a website and Windows Internet Explorer 9. To help ensure that an online transaction is secure, look for the following:

  • The web address starts with the prefix HTTPS. The “S” is important because it means that an encryption protocol called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is being used to connect to a web server. The prefix HTTP (without the “S”) means that encryption isn’t being used, and the transaction is less secure.

    If you receive a message in the Notification bar telling you that some content isn’t secure, then the webpage is displaying content using both HTTPS and HTTP web server connections. HTTP (without the “S”) transactions might not be secure.

  • A lock icon appears on the right side of the Address bar. Click the lock icon to view the certificate used to encrypt the webpage. The certificate identifies the certification authority that issued it, the dates that it’s valid, and the server you’re communicating with. If something looks wrong in the information, contact the issuer to confirm the certificate’s validity.
  • If the website has a certificate, the color in the Address bar shows the certificate’s validation level.

    The following table describes what the colors in the Address bar mean:

[Source: Microsoft]

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