How Do You Know if a Website is Reliable?

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If you want to know how reliable a website is and whether it’s trying to scam you or not, there are several ways you can personally check to find out if that site is legitimate or not. You could start by checking the website’s actual URL in the address bar and the domain name.

You should try and carry out your own amount of due diligence on the owner of the website before handing over your personal details. You can do so by checking the owner’s social media presence and verifying the website privacy policy, plus you can try and scan the site for viruses, malware, phishing, and other similar tactics, using your antivirus software. Here is a closer look at exactly how you can find out if a website is reliable or not.

How can you check to see if a website is legitimate?

To gain access to everything that a website has to offer today and to be able to purchase items from those sites, such as a dedicated online gaming site, or any other online merchant, you often need to register your details, but how can you check to see if a website is legitimate or not? There are several ways you can check.

Let’s just say that you sign up to a website that specifically focuses on PC games. They may claim to have the best PC games, but you will more than likely be required to sign up to the site to be able to play. Before you sign up and register your details, you should carry out your own amount of research. You can start by checking the address bar and URL.

For example, the address should really begin with https://. If not, it should set alarm bells ringing and that it’s perhaps a site that you shouldn’t sign up to. When you visit a trusted online gaming site, simply click in the address bar area, and you will see that it’s https:// – a domain that can be trusted. It shows that this particular site is using secured encryption technology to transfer data, which basically protects itself from unscrupulous third parties that may be listening in (namely, hackers).

Review the owner’s social media presence and check the contact us page

If a website doesn’t have any contact details, this is also a red flag, so remember to check the ‘contact us’ page for this information. At many websites today, you can find links to their Twitter/LinkedIn/YouTube and/or Facebook pages, which can also tell us a great deal about the trustworthiness of the owners.

Check if the domain is legit and if it can be trusted

In a similar way that you can check whether a mobile phone number that’s trying to call you is a scam number or not, you can also do the same with website domains/addresses at dedicated sites. There are a lot of websites out there today that enable you to see whether a website can be trusted or not by simply entering the domain/address into the search engine.

More tips for checking if a website is reliable or not

Some of the other useful tips for checking if a website is reliable or not are to run a simple virus scan using your antivirus software. Some of the best antivirus software companies out there today that can check a website’s security are Norton, McAfee, Microsoft Defender, and Bitdefender. You also have Trend Micro, Avast, Avira, Sophos, Webroot, and Kaspersky, to name just a handful.

Finally, if the website seems too good to be true, for example, it’s offering amazing deals that can’t be found anywhere else, the chances are that it can’t be trusted. Just make sure you proceed with caution when visiting any site that asks you to provide personal information or your online banking/payment details.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.