5 Ways to Check if a Website is Legit
Online shopping is convenient, but it can be difficult to determine if a website is reliable. Cybercriminals use the Internet as a gateway. As a result, online fraud appears to be on the rise, with over 18,000 fake websites launched every day.
Given the state of internet security, you might be wondering what an online shopper can do to stay safe while making a purchase. Here’s what you need to know to detect fraudulent websites.
- Check URL
Some fake websites have URLs that look identical to legitimate websites at first glance. Review the URL before entering your personal information, such as your credit card number. If you came to the site using a search engine, check the address bar to make sure you landed on the right page. Enter the URL manually and check for spelling issues. Some scammers create websites that are one letter off the mark, anticipating that you will enter the URL incorrectly.
In addition to the URL, you should look for a padlock icon in the address box. If you click on it, a drop-down window will appear with security information about the site, such as:
-The number of cookies currently in use
-Other site configurations
A padlock icon in the URL bar indicates that the site has been validated as secure. It’s not perfect because some fake websites were able to mimic the padlock icon. Also keep in mind that even if a website is considered secure, it can still be hacked. So be careful.
- Take a good look at the content
Take a look around the website, paying particular attention to the writing style. Are there:
– Grammatical errors
If it doesn’t read well, it’s probably a scam website. No trustworthy website would ever go live without being thoroughly tested first. If you see a lot of flaws, it was probably put together in a hurry by someone looking to make a quick buck. Also see the “contact us” tab. You would be right to be skeptical if the only option to contact them was through a form.
- Check the age of the domain
Determining the age of a website domain is simple. Verifying the age of a site gives you confidence that it has been running for a long time. Fraudulent and fraudulent sites usually have a short existence as they are discovered and taken down by legitimate business site owners. Use Whois Lookup domain tracking https://whois.domaintools.com/ to find out who owns the domain name, where it is located and how long the website has been active.
- Research the website and check them out on social media
If you come across a website that you like and have never used before, it wouldn’t hurt to spend a few minutes researching it. Look for reviews and any indication of the company’s social media handles when you Google it. Check it against user reviews. You can also visit the About Us page of the website. Any problems with sentence structure or misspellings indicate danger ahead. You should also see if the website includes contact information.
- Never pay by bank transfer
If you ever come across a website that asks for direct bank transfer payment, you should run for the hills. If you buy something with your credit or debit card that isn’t real or the item never shows up, you have recourse. However, if you pay by bank transfer, you have very little chance of getting your money back.