How to Detect Fake Websites
How to verify the authenticity of a website
The world of the internet is growing, and it is full of knowledge, confidence, and opportunities. At the same time, the internet is full of scammers and cybercriminals who use sophisticated ways to trick innocent people. Most commonly, they use fake websites to steal the personal information of users. Fortunately, there are ways that can help detect these fake websites.
1. Check the URL
The URL is present in the address bar of every browser. To verify the URL, always check the bit between the first double slashes “//” and the first single “/”. The domain for an online shopping platform does not end with .net or .org such as “iphonedeals.net”. the domain must end with .com or.co.uk such as “apple.com”. You could also use Google’s Safe Browsing Transparency Report to check the authenticity of the URL.
2. Check the details
While shopping online or sharing personal details, make sure there is an “https” tag or secure internet connection in the web address. This confirms that your personal information is safe from other users. If a website requires your personal details or log info without taking you through an HTTPS connection, leave the page immediately.
Also, when you visit a website check for the padlock symbol in the URL that indicates you are logged in the secure site. Similarly, if the address bar turns green and displays “Verified Company [US]”, this is another sign of a secure site. But if the address bar gives a warning and displays “Not Secure” text it means the site is not secure.
3. Check the content carefully
Before taking any action on the website take few seconds and look around for any signs such as:
- Grammatical errors
- Spelling mistakes
- Broken English
If there are a lot of errors, it is very likely you are on a fake website as no professional would launch their business website without checking it first. Also, check the company’s “contact us” page, if submitting the form is the only mode of contact, it probably is fraudulent.
4. Find the owner of the domain
All domains are registered under an individual or company name. There are online tools such as “LookWhoIs” or “Whois.net” to find the details of a particular site by entering the domain name. knowing the domain owner can help you identify if the website is fake or authentic.
5. Check for reviews
There are many review websites such as Trustpilot that share user experiences about a particular product or service and warns about scams. You can check these popular platforms for a quick review of the site you are looking for. Be careful about products or services without any reviews available and watch for fake reviews that are usually all new and similar.
For safe internet browsing, it is essential to create a safe experience that can seem like a never-ending challenge. However, if you follow these steps, and stay vigilant the risks of getting scammed decrease significantly. If you have been scammed, or have questions about cybersecurity, please do not hesitate to leave your information below.