How to Spot a Fake Website

There are hundreds of thousands of websites online and not all of them can be trusted. Some are designed with malicious intent, there to steal your personal information.

 

Shopping or browsing through a fake website can pose a lot of security issues. So, how exactly can you spot a fake website? Here are some of the main things to look for.

 

Look Closely at the Address Bar

 

One of the easiest ways to spot a fake website is by taking a look at its address bar. Some have top brand names included in the site, but there are a few giveaways that they aren’t official.

 

The first thing you should look for is the http:// section. Secure websites will be written as https://. So, if the website doesn’t have the “s” included, it isn’t fully secure. Also, watch out for shopping sites which have an address that ends with .org or .net. These are very rarely used by retailers so it’s an indicator you’re dealing with a fraudulent organization.

 

Is the Product or Price Too Good to Be True?

 

Another sign the website is fake is if the price seems too good to be true. Research the average cost of the product or service it is advertising. Is the cost on the site much lower than it should be? If so, it’s a sign you’re about to give your payment details to a fake site.

 

Pay Attention to the Content

 

You can typically tell from the content of the website whether or not it is fake. Pay attention to any spelling and grammar errors. Does the website appear to be written by someone with poor English skills? While some businesses simply pay for cheaper content, others have been set up by fraudsters in non-native English-speaking countries.

 

You’ll also notice there isn’t much in the way of an About or Contact section. All reliable businesses will have a clear About Us page, telling you when the company was formed. They will also provide you with multiple ways to get in touch. So, if the website you are visiting has very little information, it’s worth avoiding it.

 

Check Out Customer Reviews

 

A good indicator of whether a website is genuine or not, is by looking at its online reviews. All genuine businesses and websites are reviewed online so if you can’t find anything about it, it is a clear red flag.

 

Don’t just rely on testimonials provided on the website itself. Head to trusted review sites and search there. It’s often easy to spot a fake website by simply checking for reviews first.

 

These are some of the best ways you can spot a fake website as you browse the internet. While visiting one may not necessarily cause any issues, filling out information and making a purchase via one can land you in serious financial trouble.

 

If you want to avoid falling victim to fake websites, it’s extremely important to know how to spot them.  

Categories: Cyber Security