The whole Internet contains an enormous number of sites in it. There are thousands of websites on nearly every topic. Starting with Harry Potter fan club forums to buying Potato Chips websites, every niche has its own space on the internet.
Today the internet is way safer than how it was a few years back, but we can’t deny the fact that scam sites do exists on the web. Sites which provide fake info, sites which steal your credit card info and many other.
Now the question is – While there are millions of websites on the web, how to find if a site is fake or dangerous to visit. This question was asked by one of my blog readers.
If you subscribe to this blog’s newsletter (which you should), the first email you receive is about if you have any How-to-Guide-like question you want to be answered. Now, many people send me a reply to that email which I reply to all. In response to that email, one of my subscribers asked –
I really want to know how to ascertain whether a website is authentic or fake.I’ve googled regarding this stuff but couldn’t find proper info.So can you please offer me a detailed info regarding this aspect.
So, this post is the answer to that email. Here I have listed some points which you can check to determine and get an idea about a website’s legitimacy. So let’s get started with the answer.
How to Find if a Website is Legitimate or Fake
Below I have shared some steps or methods. This will help you to identify fake websites.
1. Most of the sites should have few social media pages like a Facebook page, google plus page, Twitter and other social media profiles. Search for the official social media pages, check their fan count and see the engagement of those posts (likes and comments).
2. A reputed and old site should have a Wikipedia page. Check the domain/internet company you are trusting has a Wikipedia page or not.
4. You can go to Who.is and enter the domain name; you will see the date when a domain was brought. It should surprise you if you see a website with thousands of pages which is only 1 or 2 months old.
5. Check how the site looked a few months or years back. You can use services like Wayback machine to see how a website used to look and work when it was new. This will help you to identify if the site is trustable or not.
6. If you are talking about an e-commerce site, then the site should have an https (secured) checkout page. https makes your online transactional activities safe and encrypted.
7. You can always do a simple Google search about “Is Domain.com (the site) is legit or not”. In many cases, you will see already other people have shared their experience with that website on any blog or forum.
8. If a site is popular then by searching its name on Google, you should see a knowledge graph on the right side of the page. (See Screenshot Below)
Please Note: These checkpoints are not 100% accurate. For instance, maybe a new site doesn’t have any social media pages or anything else; that doesn’t mean that the site is fake.
These points should give you a brief idea about how you should check the info about a site, but that doesn’t mean that if a site doesn’t comply with all of these, then it’s not trustable.
Another thing is Most of the new sites don’t have that many social fans or Wikipedia pages (and others). If you take the example of this site only (MostUsefulTricks.com), you will see that I don’t have that many fans on Facebook or a Wikipedia Page. Anyhow, I think you understand what I mean to say here. Anyhow, thanks for reading, have an awesome day!