Domain Highlighting

Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) has an interesting security feature worth exploring and understanding, Domain Highlighting.

This is a simple feature which highlights the Top Level Domain of a website in black while graying out the rest of the website link.

A Top Level Domain is the primary Domain Name of any site which can have any number of Sub-Domains highlighting the Top Level Domain of a website in the address bar always ensures that the user is always aware of site he is in. This is very important when it comes to secured sites like your online banking website or a site like PayPal where the information you enter (anything from a access user name and password to account & credit card information) is critical.  And, making this look very clearer and highlighted in the address bar from the rest of the link makes the user that extra vigilant about where he is and be sure he is in the website that he intended to visit and not a spoofed or phishing website.

What this feature does is give you a very quick way to know what domain you are actually entering.  (Reference: http://www.windowsreference.com )

Most people do not know how a domain name / web page name should look.  When you actually dissect the way a domain name looks it will lead you to the insight to keep yourself protected.  The most important thing to look for on a domain is the . (period)  This will show you the type of web site you are going to be going to.  The . (from dot com) is what they call a Top Level Domain.  There were at one time only 13 servers that controlled the Top Level Domain Servers.  There are many more now.  What i hope you will bring from this is the .com .net .edu etc are what they call Top Level Domains.

In the examples above you have http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx as the web site that the person was on.  In this system you see the top level domain of .com and the sub domain of Microsoft.com.  If what you want to do is go to Microsoft.com then you are where you wish to be.

The evil bad guys are really trying to confuse you in order to get you to sign into their site instead of a real site.  The most targeted example is banks.  They want very much to get you to go to their web site put your user name and password in and try to check your account.  If you accidentally do this they now have your real user name and real password to your bank.  This is a very bad idea!!!!

For example, a URL of the following form will open http://example.com, but the URL in the Address bar or the Status bar in Internet Explorer may appear as

http://www.wingtiptoys.com:

http://www.wingtiptoys.com%01@example.com

All that to tell you to read the address bar and see what web site you are on.  So if you typed Microsoft.com then you will know Microsoft.com is the site are you on because it is the ONLY part that is in bold letters.   As of right now, IE8 is the only browser that does this without some kind of add on program.

I have found this to be a great feature and one that is easy to use when a person knows to look for it.

Happy and Safe Surfing!!!