In today’s digitally-driven world, where users browse through millions of web pages every day, ensuring their safety becomes the topmost priority of website owners. However, the fact remains that not all websites out there are safe to browse.

Browsing an unsafe website can endanger visitors’ safety in many ways, such as spreading malware, stealing sensitive information, etc. For businesses, this could result in damaged reputations and customer loss.

Look for these positive signs that a website is safe and secure to navigate.

Top 5 Ways to Deal With the “Can I Trust This Website?” Dilemma

Check for the SSL Certificate 

Remember, a secure website will always have “HTTPS” at the start of its URL instead of “HTTP”.

HTTPS means that it is equipped with SSL or Secure Sockets Layer which is the standard security for websites. SSL establishes a secure connection between a website’s server and a user’s browser by encrypting data transfers.

Therefore, it’s important to be wary of any website that is not using HTTPS site protection and look for it first when doing online searches.

READ: How SSL Works and How to Install It on Your Website

Check for the SSL Certificate

Be Aware of Website Security Seals 

Several brands nowadays certify their websites with security seals. It indicates that a website has been validated and authorised by a Certificate Authority to display a security seal primarily because it uses SSL and is safe to browse.

How to check? You can find a security seal as small images that appear on web pages like the home page or login page notifying visitors that the page they’re visiting is safe. To double-check, you can click on the seal and it should take you to the exact company website. If it gives any additional information, you may want to reconsider browsing the website.

However, you should remain vigilant of spam as anyone can create a false or fake stamp using web editors and display it on web pages. Fraudulent stamps created by cyber criminals are simply images that don’t provide any details.

Look for the Company’s Social Media Presence 

When you find an intriguing brand or website, don’t feel tempted to use it right away. Do some research to check if the site or the company is legitimate.

One of the best ways to determine the genuineness of a company is by checking how active they are on social media.

If the brand has no or very limited social media presence or posts questionable content, you have every reason to be cautious. Likewise, it’s very important to check a brand’s reviews before going ahead to do business with them.

While checking reviews, one important thing to remember is to never use the website’s review page as cybercriminals might fake positive reviews. You can browse business reviews through the business’s directory listings.


Zoom in on the URL structure

When in a hurry to make a purchase or simply browsing, many users don’t check the details of the website properly. This enables cybercriminals to take advantage of the situation. 

When browsing a new website, ensure that you check the URL thoroughly. Look out for signs such as typos, a missing letter/number, or simple grammatical errors. If you notice any of these it indicates a high chance of fraud.

Also, when checking the URL, keep an eye for fake web addresses that replace characters. For instance, changing the letter “o” to zero (e.g.,

Review the Website’s Privacy Policy 

A website’s privacy policy is an excellent means to learn information about how a brand collects and uses your data and other sensitive information.

Most legitimate websites provide a detailed privacy policy document as it is mandatory by law in several places.

If you notice a website is collecting your personal information and doesn’t have any privacy policy, it’s a red flag that the website may not be genuine or doesn’t take your data privacy seriously.

Browse safely! 

Web browsing is an integral part of modern internet usage. However, to remain safe, it is important to be aware of scams and know how to differentiate a legitimate website from a fake one.

For website owners, you should take note of the tips above to establish online credibility and earn customers’ trust. You should give priority to equipping your website with an SSL certificate not only to protect your visitor’s information but your website, above all.