Ensuring the safety of the websites we visit is crucial if we want to protect our information. With cyber threats on the rise, it’s crucial to adopt a proactive approach to protect ourselves from potential risks.
There were 114 publicly disclosed security incidents in October 2023, bringing the year’s total to over 5 billion so far. Whether you’re shopping online, conducting research, or simply browsing for entertainment, verifying the safety of a website should be a routine practice. In this article, we’ll explore a comprehensive guide on how to check if a website is safe to use.
Check The WHOIS Database
Go beyond traditional domain lookup tools and delve into the WHOIS database. This resource provides detailed information about a website’s domain registration, including the owner’s contact details. While privacy protection services may obscure some information, WHOIS can still offer valuable insights into a website’s authenticity.
Assess The Website’s Social Media Presence
Legitimate businesses often maintain active social media profiles. Check if the website has associated social media accounts and examine their activity. A thriving and engaged online presence can be a positive indicator of legitimacy and that the site is safe to use.
Equally, seeing accounts that comment on the profile that look fake or have lots of complaints can also be a warning sign.
Look For HTTPS
When a website starts with https, it means that the website is on a secure server and the information is encrypted, making it harder to externally by criminals, hackers, cyber attacks and robots.
This protocol is essential when browsing on any type of website, especially if you are making a purchase of some kind, because you do not want your personal and financial details to fall into the wrong hands.
Double Check the URL Structure
Beyond checking for HTTPS, analyse the structure of the URL itself. Phishing websites may employ deceptive tactics, such as replacing letters with similar-looking characters. Pay attention to subtle variations that might escape casual observation.
Investigate the Website’s Hosting Provider
Look up the website’s hosting provider using tools like WHOIS or specialised hosting provider lookup services. Some hosting providers have a reputation for hosting malicious content, and this information can add an extra layer to your safety assessment.
Search For Them On Google
Google searches can tell you a lot about a brand, because usually if there are complaints or forums talking badly about the service or quality of product, these will show high up the list. Be sure to type in searches such as ‘is the brand legit,’ ‘is the brand real’ or ‘brand reviews’ to get a full picture.
Look for Spelling and Grammar Consistency
Pay attention to the quality of written content on the website. Legitimate sites generally maintain a consistent and professional standard. Frequent spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward language can be indicative of a hastily created or untrustworthy site.
In conclusion, the evolving landscape of online threats requires a multifaceted approach to website safety. By incorporating these niche and unconventional tips into your toolkit, you can elevate your ability to discern between trustworthy and potentially harmful websites. The digital world is dynamic, and staying one step ahead involves a blend of technological acumen, critical thinking, and a dash of curiosity.