How to Spot Fake Websites

How To Check If A Website Is Credible.

According to wikihow.com and various other sources, there are 2 important ways by which you can tell if the website is legitimate or not.

Method #1: General Tips

  • Type the website’s name into a search engine and review the results.If the site in question is a hazard (or simply an overwhelmingly illegitimate site), a cursory Google check will be enough to inform you accordingly and also make sure to looking at reviews and feedback from sources unaffiliated with the website.

Look at the website’s connection type and the website’s security status on your browser’s address bar. A website that has an “https” tag is usually more secure–and therefore more trustworthy–than a site using the more common “http” designation. This is because “https” sites’ security certification is a process most illegitimate sites don’t bother with and for most browsers, a “safe” website will display a green padlock icon to the left of the website’s URL.

 

Method #2: Using Google’s Transparency Report

You can quickly run a website’s address through this service to see its safety rating from Google and review your results. Sites range in rating from “No data available” to “Not dangerous” to “Partially dangerous” and so on. For example, sites like WikiHow and YouTube achieve “Not dangerous” ratings from Google, whereas Reddit garners a “Partially dangerous” rating due to “deceptive content” (e.g., misleading advertising).

Tips

  • Look for bad English on the site.If you notice a large number of poorly-spelled (or missing) words, generally bad grammar, or awkward phrasing, you should question the site’s reliability.
  • Watch out for invasive advertising.If your selected site has a stunningly large number of ads crowding the page or ads that automatically play audio, it’s probably not a credible site. Additionally, consider looking elsewhere if you encounter any of the following types of ads:
    • Ads that take up the whole page
    • Ads that require you to take a survey (or complete some other action) before continuing
    • Ads that redirect you to another page Explicit or suggestive ads
  • Use the website’s “Contact” page.Most sites provide a Contact page so that users can send questions, comments, and concerns to the owner of the site. If you can, call or email the provided number or email address to verify the legitimacy of the website.

 

Sources