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How To Check a Website is Safe To Use

By May 9, 2022October 27th, 2022No Comments

With cyber attacks increasing 300% year-on-year and online scams always menacing, there are a number of things you can do to check that a website is safe to use. Pheabs has put together a useful checklist below:

 

  • Does the website have a secure server SSL or https://

If you can only see HTTP within a URL, you should be aware that the website is not encrypted. This means that your activity could be visible to online predators.

HTTP acts as a security feature, and is provided through a SSL certificate. It is the part of a URL that encrypts a website. It adds a layer of defence against cybercriminals, protecting the website’s information.

  • Is the site regulated? Is there a privacy policy?

A website’s privacy policy should outline to users how the website will collect, use and protect their data. Most secure websites will have a privacy policy and in some countries such as the US, websites are required to have a privacy policy by law.

  • Does the site have real reviews from real customers – a mixture of good and bad shows the true legitimacy of a company?

Reviews are a great way of understanding whether a website’s products or services are legitimate. You should try to google the company’s name and research into other customer’s experiences. This can help to distinguish a legitimate business from a potential scam.

 

  • Is there a phone number where someone can be reached?

Recent studies have shown that 44% of website visitors will choose to leave a website if there is no contact information provided, such as a phone number or address. The provision of a phone number can show users that there is customer service available that they can reach out to if they have any security concerns.

 

  • Are there typos or misspellings?

Cybercriminals will often put together illegitimate websites in a short amount of time. This could mean that spelling errors and grammatical mistakes are likely to be made and spotted by the website users.

 

Further questions to ask and check include the following:

 

  • Does the website have real social media channels?
  • Do they have real employees on Linkedin?
  • Do they promise 100% guaranteed results?
  • What information are they asking for upfront?
  • Are they associated with any trades or governing bodies?
  • Do they ask for money or payment upfront for a simple application (not a product)?