Concerned about a Website? How to Determine Whether a Website Is Secure
Surfing the web on your laptop, PC, or smartphone may easily lead you to an illegal or fraudulent website without your knowledge.
Websites may today seem quite professional or convincing even when this is not the case in reality, therefore it’s critical to be able to spot red flags. With that in mind, below are the simplest methods for determining if a website is safe.
1. Check for Errors in the Website Address
You may occasionally identify whether you’re on a bogus website by glancing at the URL in the web address bar at the top of your window.
If you are on a fake website, for example, there may be a tiny spelling mistake in the name of a company, such as “homedep0t” instead of “homedepot.”
Furthermore, a web address with “http” rather than “https” at the beginning of the URL may be dangerous. This is due to the fact that Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is intended for secure data transfers and network communication, but HTTP is not. HTTP Secure encrypts HTTP requests in order to make your surfing experience more private and secure.
While not all websites that use HTTP rather than HTTPS are hazardous, many are. So, if you detect that a website you are visiting is not employing Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, you should proceed with caution and avoid entering any personal information that might be intercepted or gathered.
2. Check for a Lock Icon Next to the Web Address
A lock symbol is used by all major web browsers to tell users that a website has been declared secure. If you look at the web address for this page right now, you’ll see a little lock symbol to the left of the URL. This refers to the Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
When you see the lock symbol, it implies that the website you’re viewing is using Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. When the lock icon is missing or has a warning or cross sign next to it, the website does not employ Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and the browser does not consider it secure.
Again, although not all sites without the lock symbol are harmful, many are, so continue with care or use one of the other techniques on this list to verify its legitimacy. This is something to be aware of whether you’re using a smartphone or a PC.
3. Check the Site’s Domain Age
A website’s domain age is related to the date the website was created. While this domain age cannot provide a precise website age since domains are often acquired prior to the construction of a website, it may provide a general estimate of the site’s age.
This is especially useful when you think you’re on a legitimate site but fear it’s a scam. For example, if you’re on what you thought was Walmart’s official website, but the domain age is as little as a few months, weeks, or days, the site is most likely a forgery meant to trick people into providing payment information or other sensitive data.
Small SEO Tools and Duplichecker are two websites that may be used to determine the age of a domain.
4. Check the Company’s Socials and Reviews
It’s simple to come across a new firm that you wish to purchase from or hire. However, it is critical to do some due diligence on these tiny businesses to ensure their legitimacy.
Checking an online company’s social media presence is a terrific method to see how well-established they are. If the firm does not use social media, has just a few followers, or uploads strange or questionable stuff, there might be something illicit going on behind the scenes.
Unfortunately, many of the new sites you come on, particularly those that advertise very cheap pricing for their goods or services, are completely untrustworthy. Their goal is to steal private data (particularly your payment information) in order to profit from it.
This is why it’s critical to examine a company’s ratings before making any type of commitment. A short online search of the firm and its reviews should bring up a handful of sites, such as TrustPilot or Reviews.io, that should educate you of the company’s overall authenticity.
Avoid if there are a lot of one-star reviews or concerns about shipping and customer service.
When reading reviews, keep in mind that you should never make an opinion based on the site’s own review page. Many scam sites manufacture their own favorable ratings in order to persuade customers of their trustworthiness. Use official review sites instead. If you can’t discover any reviews (other than those on the site), this is another indication that something isn’t quite right.
5. Check the Site Itself for Red Flags
If a dupe or scam website isn’t carefully vetted by its developer before publication (which they often aren’t), it’s simple to notice the flaws and smell the deception.
First, double-check for spelling mistakes. While established websites may have spelling errors, this is uncommon, particularly among bigger corporations. Second, look at the costs of the items or services being offered. Many scam websites advertise very cheap costs that are almost always too good to be true.
Other elements, in addition to these fundamental red flags, may indicate a hazardous website. Low-quality graphics, bad page design, and lengthy loading times are additional indicators of a hurriedly built scam website. Take notice of these indicators if you have doubts about the validity of a website.
6. Check Who Owns the Domain
Another good predictor of whether a website is secure is who owns the domain. Domains for official websites are generally controlled by large domain firms that you can readily find. So, if you search for the domain owner’s name and discover articles about frauds or no relevant results at all, you’re most likely on a dupe website with a scammer’s domain.
There are many free services available to help you locate the owner of a domain. We suggest utilizing GoDaddy’s WHOIS domain checker, which can instantly supply you with all of the necessary domain information. However, there are other GoDaddy alternatives, including:
It Really Pays to Vet a Website Beforehand
The internet is riddled with frauds of all types; in fact, you’ve probably encountered one without even realizing it. Since a result, it’s critical to rapidly verify the credibility of a website before supplying any type of personal or sensitive information, as this is one of the primary techniques fraudsters use to acquire private data.
Using these easy techniques to be safe might make the difference between avoiding a scam and falling victim to one.
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