Evaluating Sources for Credibility
How to Identify Trustworthy Informational Websites
Over the decades, as the Internet has grown in prevalence all over the world, there has been much benefit for individuals and businesses in all fields and activities. However, the widespread popularity of the Internet has provided a platform for malicious hackers and scammers to set up illegitimate websites, and many people fall prey to these fraudulent websites every day. Protecting yourself against these suspicious websites involves knowing how to discern a website's trustworthiness. Keep reading to find out how to identify trustworthy informational websites.
Look for a secure connection in your browser address bar.When a website utilizes a secure connection, often the web address will be prefixed withhttps://rather than the usualhttp://. Some browsers may even provide indications for a secure website, such as changing the color of the web address bar or displaying a security icon.
- If the website utilizes a secure connection, that is a good indicator of trustworthiness. Secure connections are used to encrypt the information being sent to and from the website, making it difficult for hackers to snoop around.
Look for a trust certificate.Trust certificates are handed out by Internet trust organizations, and the trust certificate will usually be displayed on their site in the form of an image. Some fraudulent websites can put up counterfeit trust images, though, so if you are unsure of a site's trust validity, contact the trust organization on the trust image to see if that site is registered with them.
Look for brand or name popularity.If the brand or name of a website is well-known or well-liked, chances are they are legitimate. For example, Google, Amazon, and eBay are all popular so they are likely to be legitimate if you've reached their official website.
Look for website reviews.Suppose you've arrived at the website of "Dzzzt Tools" and you want to check their legitimacy. You can search for "Dzzzt Tools review" or "Is Dzzzt Tools legitimate," and most of the time you'll find comments from others who have used the website describing their results--whether good or bad.
Look for suspicious activity.For example, if you were not intending on giving out your personal information (such as when shopping online) but the website asks you to input sensitive data, then you should cautious. Never give away any of your personal details on a website that hasn't earned your trust.
Avoid visiting websites that are sent through emails.Emails can be faked to look like they are arriving from a certain email address even when they weren't sent from there. Furthermore, links within emails can be faked to look like they'll take you to one destination but take you to a clone website that is setup to look like the original website. You could end up entering your information into a look-alike website.
Avoid websites that seem too good to be true.If a website's authenticity and validity are in question and they claim to be providing an unbelievable offer, you should probably skip it and move on. Great deals and offers should only be pursued on websites you are familiar with or websites with a good reputation.
QuestionWhat can happen if I give away my email address and full name to someone I don't trust?Top AnswererPeople can sell your information off to advertisers and track down and upload more information about you, or "dox" you.Thanks!
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