Internet crime and fraud is consistently on the rise. In an age where most activities have shifted online, users need to be more vigilant with which websites and platforms they trust. In this article, we shall delve into how to quickly identify if a website is trustworthy, and whether it is set up to steal your money.
Domain name and errors
A red flag is a strange domain name, which makes no sense or is not related to the service or business it supposedly represents. Another sign of suspicion is incorrect content or bad grammar on the website.
“HTTP” instead of “HTTPS”
Before sharing any sensitive information on a website or e-commerce site, ensure that the URL starts with “HTTPS”, not just “HTTP”. Whilst this may appear as a non-noteworthy omission, the “S” stands for secure. This would indicate that the communications between your browser and the particular website are encrypted. When such communications are encrypted, your information should be protected.
Enquiry for financial information
If you are browsing through a site and you get a pop-up, enquiring for financial information, you should be wary. Serious websites and retailers do not ask for information in this manner and the recommended course of action would be to leave that platform immediately.
Too good to be true
If you stumble across a website that is offering a product with an incredibly good price, you should proceed with caution. If the price listed does not make sense when compared to the product, it may be that you are being scammed or that the item is counterfeit.
No contact information
Considering that anyone can set up an online shop, it is important to ensure that if you share your financial information, you do so with reputable retailers. Do not purchase anything from a website which has no registered address or contact information.
Prior to purchasing from a website, have a look at the reviews. If other users have complained, you need to keep this in mind. Another red flag would be reviews that do not make sense or in non-standard English. Be careful of reviews that are written from questionable users, which may include names with jumbled up letters.
When it comes to your online activity, as a matter of principle, do not give out more information than you should. Online scammers may use sophisticated methods to spy on your activity. Adopt standard security processes where applicable, such as two-factor authentication and strong passwords. Remain vigilant.