How to Check if a Website Is Legit and Safe to Visit

    website check

    As you may already know, not all websites are created equal, with many potentially posing risks to your personal information or device security. As a result, it’s crucial to know how to check if a website is legit and secure, so you can surf the web safely and with confidence. Keep on reading to learn about some important tips to help identify if websites are trustworthy.

    But first, some examples…

    Cybercriminals will often try to deceive people into thinking their website is legit by creating a copycat version of a real site. Because these fake sites closely mimic the legit sites they’re based on, it can be very challenging to tell them apart.

    Fake Amazon Website
    Fake Amazon site: Amazonexal[.]com
    d-sportinggoods com Scam_Fake DICKs website
    Fake Dick’s Sporting Goods site: d-sportinggoods[.]com

    As you can see, both fake website examples above feature a legitimate company’s logo, which can make it easy to fall into the trap of believing the sites can be trusted. However, both these sites exhibit several of the red flags you need to watch out for, and here’s how to spot them…  

    Check the URL

    A website’s Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is often the first indicator of its legitimacy. Be cautious of URLs that include misspelled words, extra characters, or strange combinations. Scammers will often create URLs that resemble a legit site’s URL, like in the two examples above. Additionally, look for “https://” at the beginning of the URL, indicating a secure connection. The absence of this can be a red flag, especially when dealing with sensitive information. However, it’s essential to note that its presence alone doesn’t guarantee a site’s safety. Remain vigilant even if ‘https://’ is present, and stay mindful of other potential indicators that a site is not to be trusted.

    Research the site’s age and reputation

    A site’s age and reputation are both strong indicators of whether you should trust it or not. If a website looks like a site belonging to a company that’s been around for decades, but the site itself is only a few days or weeks old, it’s likely not to be trustworthy. A quick Whois lookup can be used to reveal the registration date of a site.

    Additionally, you can use Scamadviser to check a website’s reputation. After searching for a website on Scamadviser, you’ll see its Trustscore — which is a rating based on various factors, including the site’s popularity, social media activity, reviews, performance, security, age, and more.

    Look for contact information

    Legit websites usually provide clear and accessible contact information. Look for an “About Us” or “Contact Us” section, which should include an email address, physical address, and phone number. Verify this information to ensure it corresponds with the website’s claimed identity. Websites that lack contact details or provide only generic email addresses may be less trustworthy.

    Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals

    Scammers often use enticing offers to lure visitors into providing personal information or making purchases. Be skeptical of websites that offer deals that seem too good to be true. Trust your instincts, and if something seems off, take the time to investigate further before placing an order.

    Use Trend Micro ID Protection

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    With ID Protection you can…

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