10 ways to verify a website is safe

In today’s world you can’t be to safe while shopping online. Here are some quick things you can do to verify a website is safe.

1. SSL – If a site asks for sensitive data (credit card details, home address etc.), make sure it’s encrypted with SSL. The easiest way to know if it is is by checking the URL – SSL protected sites start with https:// You can also click the lock to verify who is generating the security. If its “Let’s Envrpt” (a free SSL certificate supplier) it may not be as trustworthy as say “Cloudfare” or “Verisign”.

2. Detailed information – You can be alarmed if you can’t find any information on who the seller is, how to reach them, what kind of services they provide the shop’s terms of service or privacy policy. It’s the same situation with the offered product/service – the more details and photos, the bigger chance it’s a reliable shop. Typos in anything are always a tell tale sign of fraud.

3.Safe payments – Look for payment companies logo (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Paypal). If they offer other options (Bitcoin, Zelle, Cash App etc) that’s OK.,But if that is all they offer, I would be careful.

4. Whois – Whois is a great tool for looking up historical information of any website – IP address, name server, registrar and screenshot history.

5. Alexa & PageRank – Alexa lets you see a site’s popularity, other sites that link to it, queries that drive traffic to it and details about who visits the site (age, education, gender). Page rank, PageRank is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. When one page links to another page, it is casting a vote for the other page. The more votes that are cast for a page and the higher PR number, the more important the page is.

6. Blacklist – Fraud or spam websites can be blacklisted to warn others of a suspicious sites. If a site shows up once on a blacklist, it might be an error, but if it’s labeled as spam by majority of servers, then you can be pretty sure it is in fact one. Most paid virus scanners check these auto magically, Like Norton, AVG, Avast, SecureMac or my personal lightweight favorite Bitdefender!

7. Webarchive – Check https://www.archive.org – A company claims it’s been in the e-business for 10 years? Webarchive lets you check what the site looked like years ago and if the merchant is telling the truth.

8. Internet opinions and reviews – Not 100% trustworthy as merchants can write fake reviews, but googling for opinions is always a good idea. Some tools like Web of Trust even rate sites by their trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety.

9. Check Email Addresses – Different email addresses than the website like firstcrownfirearms@gmail.com instead of sales@firstcrownfirearms.com.

10. Call them or check Google maps- Phone numbers that do not work, Whatsapp or Google Voice VIOP phone numbers as only point of contact, No address for physical location, Address when Googled leads to a building that is currently for sale are all dead giveaways.

We hope this helps make the internet a slightly better place for all!

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