How to Tell if a Website is Safe

How to know if a website is legit
Source: Moz Domains

Making full use of everything the internet has to offer involves inputting lots of personal data, including credit card details, into a wide range of websites. This could be anything from online shopping to streaming services and subscriptions. It’s therefore essential to know if a website is genuine or not. Here is our guide to knowing if a website is safe.

How to know if a website is legit

The first and foremost way of how you might get scammed is through phishing, which generally involves a duplicate website. You might be receiving emails that your password has changed, and messaging along the lines of ‘if you didn’t change your password, please click here to update your security details.’ 

The first thing you will have to check is the email address you received it from, because the body of the mail might seem like it’s from the original source. For example, if the password reset email looks like it’s from any of your payment sources, check the website URL to see if that’s the actual URL of your payment source.

Other than scamming, here are a few essential aspects you can look for before proceeding to use a website for any purpose.

  • The first thing we suggest you do is to check the website name for reviews on Google. If it is a scam-based e-commerce website, it will show up in the review results.
  • Check the URL for any suspicious names. Verify the security protocol, sub-domain, domain name, and top-level domain and the / file path. Even if the website has a verified SSL certificate so that it shows the padlock and https, check the sub-domain because any website can get the SSL certificate.
  • Never give your personal information and banking info on websites having HTTP protocol. Only make transactions if the particular site has an HTTPS protocol and only after you cross-check the domain.
  • Always look for the padlock symbol and verify the website certificates by clicking on the padlock symbol if you are suspicious. Clicking on Certificate shows up the certificate details where you can check the details of the type of Certificate the website has. There are DV, OV, or EV types of certificates where DV has a domain name, OV includes a company’s necessary details, and an EV (Extended Validation) has detailed company information, which means you can certainly trust it. An e-Commerce website will undoubtedly have an OV SSL certificate that has verified business details in it, indicating the e-commerce website is trustworthy. If any of the sites don’t have the appropriate Certificate, you should be careful.
  • If the above task seems complex, go back to the first step and check the website with safety tools like Google’s Safe Browsing. Moreover, review whois records to know about the domain owner or better, call up the company to verify.
  • Pay no attention to any Trust badges put up on the websites. Most fake websites use them to lure in visitors.
  • Some other apparent signs that a site is probably spammy or malicious are a lot of pop-ups upon clicking, redirects, and any search engine warnings you get.
  • Check the website’s privacy page. Legitimate websites from big companies and organizations almost usually have a privacy policy page about how they will handle your data. Just because a site doesn’t have a privacy page, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a dangerous site, as sites that don’t handle personal data don’t really need such a policy. But banks, financial sites, and major companies that scammers try to imitate will usually have privacy pages that will help you confirm you are on the real site.
  • Rather than going to websites via links in emails or social media posts, type in the web address yourself or go to your saved sites, especially for your banks. 

If you have any anti-virus program installed, it will most probably help you with web security too. Check the settings and enable maximum checks if you want to be safe.

 

Source: Webtex Web Design

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Sources:

https://www.avg.com/en/signal/website-safety

https://www.wikihow.com/Find-if-a-Website-Is-Legitimate

https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/5-ways-to-determine-if-a-website-is-fake-fraudulent-or-a-scam/

https://www.urlvoid.com/scan/thepiratebay.org/