Is the website you visit legit? Tips to make your online activity safe

Is the website you visit legit? Tips to make your online activity safe

Online safety is crucial. Even if you know all the ways to steal personal data, it will take a lot of work to avoid scammers’ actions. 

Websites are actively used to steal the information from users. With the help of different tools and methods, scammers can interact with users and make them perform various actions. 

In this article, we will dive deeper into the issue of fake websites and show you methods to learn whether the website you want to visit is safe and legitimate.

fake websites how to find a legit site

It would be completely wrong to say that all “fake” websites are harmful. Everything depends on the context of website creation. For example, sometimes users can create ironic sites with satirical content to laugh at events or media. Such sites can use similar domains or names. However, you can never know the true intentions of the author. There is no guarantee that such websites will not be involved in fraudulent activity. 

In most cases, fake websites are focused in several directions:

  • Identity theft. Some websites disguise themselves as existing stores, marketplaces, blogs, etc. Thus, the user will think they are on the original site, so they will easily register and share other data, which can then be used for malicious mailings, fraud, theft, or blackmail.
  • Spreading fake information. In some cases, attackers steal the identity of another website, perhaps even a reputable one, to distribute fake information. There can be many reasons for this. On the one hand, such actions may be aimed at obtaining financial benefits, such as manipulating the stock market and disseminating false information about specific companies. On the other hand, people might use fake media to spread harmful messages involving politics, healthcare, history, etc. 
  • Distribution of malware. For example, if you want to download a program to your PC, you must ensure that the site you are visiting is safe. On the other hand, a fake site may offer you to download a program, such as a handy extension, a time saver, or a game. Once downloaded, you may get malware that negatively affects your computer or smartphone.

It is important to understand that even if someone creates a satirical parody of an existing website but uses its logo, name, or elements very similar to the original, there is no guarantee that this resource will not be used for criminal activity.

Are all fake websites harmful?

fake domains how to find a legit site

Earlier in the article, we did describe the potential harm of fake websites that are pretty easy to detect. However, not all websites copy existing ones. Many sites are wholly new and unique, but they are still harmful. Like phishing websites, seeing non-legitimate ones is not the most challenging task. You just need to take the following steps:

  • Check the link. You need to ensure that the link to the website is correct. For example, if you want to buy something on Amazon, you must ensure the link is valid. Moreover, double-check the security protocol. If the protocol is “http”, the website is not secure, and you need to leave it. If the protocol is “https”, you can continue examining it. 
  • Website reviews. Usually, visitors leave their reviews about websites. You can learn more about the website and its possible threats by exploring them. You can use Google Maps, Trustpilot, or other independent review services to find reviews. 
  • Mentions in the media. Often, even without user reviews, you can find mentions in the media about a website if it is pretty popular.
  • Check the website through independent resources. For example, you can use the ScamAdviser website – you only need to paste the link to the website you need. After that, you will receive detailed information about the site, including reviews. However, this is a database that is constantly being updated. You can also help improve this resource by pointing out dangerous websites.

These basic things will help you ensure that the site you’re visiting is entirely safe.

How do you find a safe website in an unfamiliar field?

legit websites how to find a legit site

In some cases, users discover new things for themselves. Situations where you need to find a particular website in a niche you don’t understand much about are common.

For example, if you want to learn more about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, you will find a large number of resources. For people who have no idea how to buy tokens at all, every site will look pretty safe and legal.

In this case, it will be quite challenging but not impossible to make sure that the site is legal. It is vital to choose a website that interests you and start researching it.

  • Check who advertised the resource. If it is advertised by a blogger with a shady reputation and was involved in promoting low-quality products or frauds, the services he promotes now should be judged with suspicion. 
  • Check whether the blogger’s audience is active. For example, if the blogger who advertises the website has around 2 million followers but about 20-100 hundred views, it is a bad sign. There is a high possibility that this blogger would just take any opportunity from sponsors, regardless of how harmful the advertised product might be.
  • Try to find information on YouTube. For example, use the name of the site plus the word “scam” to search. This way, you will find videos with reviews that can prove that the platform is not safe to use.
  • Check if recognizable businesses have recommended this product. If, for example, you are looking for a CRM system or other integration tool, you should see if it has been recommended by large companies (or representatives of such companies). For a business, giving any kind of advertising to specific products is always a risk, so if something is recommended, it is most likely a high-quality product.

You can also check what the site used to be like using WayBackMachine (a web archive that contains information about many sites and allows you to view the history of page changes), but this method does not always work. In addition, especially when it comes to websites focused on financial transactions, you can find out more about the company: where it is registered, whether it has other websites, and what reviews it has about the company itself.

How does Weblium fight fake websites?

Weblium is a website builder, so it is imperative to us that our platform is not used for criminal activities. For this reason, we constantly check and monitor the websites that are created with our builder.

Also, our support team is always in touch, so if you have information that a website is involved in criminal activity or completely copies another brand, please let us know. 

However, it’s always important to check how safe a website is before you download anything from it or enter your personal data.

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