How to Find a Safe Site
If you’ve ever encountered a pop-up window that says your device has a security issue, that’s a classic sign of malware or scareware. Clicking it will install a file that’ll cause your computer problems.
Safe sites should have security indicators that prove they are who they say they are. We’ll cover some quick tips on how to look for these indicators.
Look for a Trust Seal
When a customer is visiting your site they need to trust that their information will be safe and secure. This will give them the confidence to purchase from your site and can increase your conversion rates.
One way to do this is by adding a trust seal to your site. These are small badges that show your customers that your site is vetted and verified by a trusted third party. These are very effective at building trust and can be found on sites that have a Sectigo SSL Certificate installed.
A study conducted by Econsultancy/Toluna found that 58% of respondents said that trust seals gave them a sense of security when shopping online. This is a big reason why businesses should be using them on their sites.
A great example is the Norton seal, which shows that your site has been scanned for malware and is clean. It is an easy way to build trust and encourage customers to take action on your website.
Check for a Padlock
When you see a padlock in your browser’s address bar, it tells you that the site is using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate. This ensures that the connection between your web browser and the website is encrypted, which prevents eavesdropping.
It used to be that scammers and thieves didn’t bother with digital certificates for their fake websites, partly because they cost money that they didn’t want to spend and because it would create an additional paper trail linking a fraudulent site to its owner. However, now that many people are looking for padlocks and other signs of security on their favorite sites, scammers are catching on to this and are creating SSL certificates for their fake sites.
Firefox and Chromium both display a green padlock icon when the website uses a valid SSL/TLS certificate. If you click the padlock, you’ll see information about the certificate including its expiration date and the name of the verified owner.
Look for Contact Information
If a website is legitimate, it will have contact information, such as email or a phone number. If there is no contact information, it is a red flag and you should avoid the site.
The domain name is also an indicator. Authentic sites will usually have domains that are registered with large domain companies. Using a tool like Whois Lookup can verify the owner of a domain.
Another quick way to check if a site is safe is to search for it on Google. If it shows up in articles or stories about scams, that is a good indicator it is not safe to visit. It may seem like a lot of work to do all of these checks before you visit a site, but over time it will become second nature and you will be much safer online. Keep up the good work!