Is that site safe?
Is that site safe?
I’m sure we have all had a moment. A moment where we discover a new site and wonder ‘Is it safe? Can i trust this site with my information?’. If you haven’t, you are probably too concerned with safety to even think about trusting an unknown URL in the first place!
And who could blame you? Nowadays, fraudsters are using every trick in the book to try to fool the not so savvy internet users into providing their card details.
So, here’s all the information you need to be confident that the site that you are using is trustworthy.
Look out for clear warning signs
Google has a big impact on protecting users from unsafe sites. If you find a site that Google believes to be unsafe, they will warn you with a warning message that reads ‘this site may harm your computer’.
So, if you see this message, it is probably best to avoid the site and find a safer option.
You will also be warned about a hacked site by most major browser, so be sure to check for these warnings.
It is important to remember that these warnings do not necessarily mean the site owners are hackers. They could very well be an unfortunate company whose site has been tampered with. So, if you can, let them know! (without giving them all you details through the site).
Check for the not secure warning
Google will also warn you if a website has no SSL certificate. If you are using Chrome as your web browser, you’ll see a not secure warning next to the URL bar.
Don’t know what an SSL is? Do you want to know how to get one? Read our article on SSL certificates here.
Less obvious warnings
Physical Address – It is uncommon for a website not to list a physical address. Even if the don’t have a store, they ust operate from somewhere. If a site is fraudulent, they would not list their address, so be sure to check before providing any information.
Reviews – If a website has been around for a while, they’ll have received a number of reviews. If they are trustworthy and reliable, they should have a number of gleaming reviews that they would want all visitors to see.If there are no reviews present on a site, they are either brand new or there is probably a reason they are unwilling to show them.
At this stage, it would be wise to google reviews of the site, as they will have no power over 3rd party review sites.
Payment Methods – Are standard payment methods available on the site? If Paypal and card payments are available on the site, this is a sign that they are following standard procedure. If the site insists that you pay via bank transfer or wire payments, this is a red flag and you should definitely avoid giving your money to these sites.
Is there somebody to speak to? – Is there a number or email where you can contact a real person? If so, you can speak with them and be reassured that the company is legitimate. If there is no method of contact, or you only get automated responses, you will want to avoid the site. If something goes wrong, nobody is there to help.
Don’t be fooled
While all of these red flags will help you avoid fraudulent and unsafe sites, not all sites have major warning signs. The bottom line is to go with your gut instinct. If something doesn’t seem right, or they are offering you something that’s too good to be true, then don’t trust the site. It is best to be safe than sorry when it comes to your private information and money.