One out of every ten websites you visit online is untrustworthy. Some websites are obviously unreliable, but others attempt to persuade site visitors by creating an appearance of a professional or a trustworthy website. You and your information might be at risk if you are not attentive enough to check a website.
Sadly, unethical people often develop phony websites to deceive consumers. Whether you’re looking at a website that sells anything or has information about your finances, it’s important that you can trust the source. If they try to pressure you into making a large purchase, you should be extremely cautious.
So, what are the obvious indicators that you’ve arrived at a reputable or trustworthy website?
- The first thing you should do when visiting a new website is make sure it doesn’t contain the “NOT SECURE” warning. It’s there in front of your eyes, plainly stating that it is not a secure site, so don’t bother scrolling for more, will ya? The inclusion of the HTTPS layer in the browser header is the most common indicator that you’re on a secure site. This indicates that data transferred to and from the website has been encrypted, reducing the risk of Malware or illegal activities. Is the HTTPs and padlock symbol, however, sufficient? It would be worthwhile to seek for a security certificate or seal from a globally recognized authority, which is rather simple to locate. Simply click the padlock icon to see the certificate that was granted to the site.
- You should also check how long the domain has been in use. There are a few websites, such as WHO.is, that will allow you to check the domain. These sites will also tell you who owns the domain and everything else you need to know about it. Knowing what these indications mean and how to interpret them can assist you in determining whether or not it is safe to conduct business on that website.
- A website containing valid contact information for the organization, such as a physical address or a working phone number. You’ll also be able to contact someone by email or phone and obtain clear answers to your questions about the website’s content.
- When you visit a website, you should be able to check if it complies with accessibility standards. A credible website will give citations for its own information. Moreover, there should be no typos and the content should be well organized. The site may contain an about page that tells you more about the company, or it may even connect on various occasions through social media.
- One obvious way to tell if a site is reliable is if it appears to have been established in 2003. Sites that are well-designed and maintained are often trustworthy and utilize the most recent web standards, which is one of the reasons they appear current. A quick doorknob test of website reliability is if the site offers updated software, updated content, and useful resources. This information may be quite useful in deciding whether or not to submit your information for an application or just read about it on a website.
- Another way to tell is how many people have been visiting the website during a given time period. Look for a blog or news site where the numbers of views on a page continue to steadily increase over a set period of time, showing that its popularity is staying steady and it’s meeting expectations.
In simple terms, the indicators below serve as your starting point, rather than a collection of information required to determine whether the website you’re looking at is trustworthy.
- The URL of the site;
- Confirmed business address;
- Phone number or email for customer support inquiries;
- The site isn’t vague when it talks about company facts, such as what it does and who its founder is
Even if a website is aesthetically pleasing, it may not be safe for you to enter your personal information. Be wary of sites that don’t provide contact information. The email address sometimes needs to be a secondary authentication factor. If there is a phone number next to the contact option, you should call the number and ask questions about the site before providing any details. Also, when you first see that strange site that lures you in with its promise to solve all your problems, you’re going to be eager to trust it. That’s understandable, but what is most important is evaluating just how they will work and how safe and effective they are.
Remember: if the product sounds too good to be true, then it is most likely fake.