Shopping from a legitimate website is paramount if you want to keep hackers at bay.
Last year, 1,387,615 cases of customer identity breaches happened due to a lack of cybersecurity knowledge.
Thus, having appropriate cybersecurity knowledge is important to keep yourself safe from a website that can steal your bank details, credit/card numbers, phone numbers, email, and residential addresses by making you fill forms.
Before filling any contact form, you must know why you are filling it and whether you can trust that website or not?
But how do you check a website is legit or not?
Well, do not worry because we are going over ten ways to check whether you have visited a safe website or not.
So, let’s dive straight into them:
1. Check whether a website has an SSL certificate or not
The presence of an SSL or Secured Socket Layer certificate indicates that a website is safe.
If a website’s URL starts with https://, then it is a legit website as it has SSL encryption installed. This ensures encryption of the in-transit information that is exchanged between the web browser and the client-server. This eliminates the incidences of MITM attacks.
SSL is issued by the Certificate Authority, which first verifies the buyer’s identity. CheapSSLShop.com is the best place to buy SSL certificates of different brands like comodo SSL certificate, GeoTrust, RapidSSL, GlobalSign, and DigiCert. You can choose any certificate as per your website requirement.
Thus, if you have visited an https:// website, then you are safe.
2. Contact page speaks for a website’s authenticity.
After checking for a website’s authenticity, the next thing to look out for is the contact page.
You must check whether there is an email address, phone number, address synchronized with Google maps or not.
A legit website never hides their address and contact information as they want to openly connect with their customers and not run from them.
But a scam website would not want to share its email and phone number.
Moreover, if there is no contact page, you must ask yourself, is this website legit to purchase from, or is it trying to scam me?
3. Checking their domain name
Some websites may get similar domain names to trick you into thinking that they are a branded websites.
Unfortunately, many people believe Walmart to be Walmart, just by giving it a slight glare which is what hackers want.
They would make slight adjustments here and there so that people cannot identify the website in a single glare.
Thus, it is better to double-check a website’s domain name before moving ahead.
4. Check for the website’s age.
By using domain trackers, you can easily figure out a site’s authenticity.
Verifying a domain’s age is important to figure out how long a domain has been in existence.
Illegitimate websites do not sustain on the web for a long time. Otherwise, they can be easily traced out.
If a website has recently been bought into existence, then there is a high chance that you are visiting an unsafe website.
Moreover, if you click on the gray padlock ahead of the URL, you can even find out information about the certificate owner and validate their SSL certificate.
By performing these little tasks, you can figure out the authenticity of the website and its owner.
5. Watch out for grammatical errors.
Do you think Nike or Adidas would have grammar errors on their website?
They would hire the best content creators who use the best tools for content creation, right?
Then, why does this Nike website have grammar errors? Why didn’t they proofread it?
Well, that is because the site has been recently put up and loaded with content to make it look fancy for you.
Yes, the illegitimate website does not pay attention to every fine detail, so they can be easily traced out if looked upon their content pieces.
Grammar errors on a renowned website mean that it is not a legit website.
6. Use secure payment transfer means.
Genuine websites always have a secure payment system. They comply with PCI/DSS guidelines and have options like PayPal, Debit/Credit card, and UPI payment methods.
If you visit a website and do not find such options and ask you to pay through non-refundable ways such as money order and wire transfer, you must immediately abort the session and close the website.
7. Don’t be fooled by incredible offers.
Sometimes companies want to sell all the stock at lower prices due to the change in season.
You might even find brands like Nike and Adidas selling their winter collection in summer on a 40-50% off.
But there is no way that the latest Apple watch can be sold at 90% off. If you see such offers, it is time to drop the idea of purchase from a site.
It is highly unlikely that Apple would make such an offer to the public unless, of course, if it has to sell all the pieces of the iPhone 4.
Thus, do not believe in such offers. They are a scam.
8. Scan the site for viruses
Don’t get stuck with the “is this website safe?” question. Just check it by yourself.
There are many tools available online that can run a virus scan on the website you are visiting.
Moreover, if you see too many pop-ups upon your website visitors then, chances are that the website is trying to scam you.
You can also install anti-virus software on your device so that no hacker can creep into your device and steal your data.
9. Protect yourself in advance
Your data protection lies in your hands which is why you must always be on the safer side.
Use tools like a password manager to protect your password security and strengthen it so that no hacker can intercept it.
You can also use credit monitoring tools where all your financial information online will be locked, and no transaction can be made anywhere online.
Moreover, many identity protection tools in the market can protect your sensitive data and safeguard your email, phone number, and address.
Thus, keep yourself protected in advance.
10. Run a research session
Please do not make a website’s word for its authenticity, do thorough research on the website you are about to visit.
You can check whether it has a social media platform or not. Most legit websites spark social media presence as every company is trying to make a name for itself.
Moreover, you can check their reviews and ratings on Google’s listings and see what people think about their services.
If you could not find their presence anywhere then, the chances are that the website was created recently to scam you.
Cyberspace is vast, and it isn’t easy to monitor it all and keep it organized, so you must be prepared for challenges as a user.
Cybercriminals are lurking on the internet freely, doing everything in their power to get the better of users and steal their data.
However, with advancements in technology, many tools like an SSL certificate, firewall, password manager, identity monitoring and credit monitoring have made it easier to track and eliminate them.
But users still must beware of the sites they visit. One small mistake can cost them all of their data and finances.
Thus, to avoid these atrocities, users must follow these ten ways mentioned above to figure out the website’s legitimacy.