How Can You Tell a Website is Trustworthy?

In today’s digital age, cybercriminals, hackers, digital fraudsters, and other bad actors employ highly sophisticated website attacks that are much harder to detect and easier to fall prey to. 

The best way to stay safe online today is to stick to trustworthy and secure websites known to be safe and owned by reputable names. However, this is sometimes hard to do because even some websites that appear trustworthy aren’t.

Try to avoid visiting websites that are known to be unsafe/dangerous because they are likely to harbour one of two primary forms of cyberattack – phishing or malware, or worse, both. 

Let’s dive in to learn how to tell if a website is trustworthy and reveal the important signs to look out for. 

Finding Safe Websites

Each niche has different standards and expectations for what websites are and should be. When you load up a retail website, it’ll look different from a gaming platform. So, at first glance, our website literacy is doing different things. However, as a rule, licenses are a great way to separate what’s not to be trusted from what is trusted.

For instance, finding the most reliable online casinos requires knowing which governing authorities distribute those licenses. Resources like website do help aggregate which ones can be trusted for consumers but checking for yourself is also advised. These will be found on the company page or at the bottom of the home page.

For retail, each jurisdiction will typically require different licensing and, therefore, compliance assurances and standards. As with casinos, you should be able to find these licenses on the company page or at the bottom of the home page.

While we all tend to visit websites that are generally trusted because we’ve seen countless others shop their or their reputation and brand precedes them, there will be times we find a website we think is irresistible. Due diligence, though, is paramount in all situations.

What are unsafe websites, and what problems can they cause?

People today have access to millions of websites that can be visited for free at any time of the day. All that’s needed is a web browser and any Wi-Fi/internet-connected desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet device. 

Other devices that can connect to the internet today and potentially get hacked are smart watches, smart TVs, smart speakers, smart meters, VR and AR devices, and various other wearable devices and everyday devices designed to make our lives easier. 

Unfortunately, not all websites are safe, and successful cyber attacks can cause many issues. 

Here are two of the most common cyber attacks.

  • Phishing – this classic attack involves highly sophisticated scams that try to get you to divulge your personal details or banking/financial information. Phishing attacks can also arrive in the form of emails and text messages
  • Malware – cybercriminals can trick people into tapping or clicking on certain buttons that contain malicious software (malware). It downloads itself onto your device to harvest your sensitive personal/banking/financial data and personal files, infect your device with viruses, and carry out many other fraudulent/malicious activities

If you made the mistake of signing up to an unlicensed online casino, your personal information, banking details, and money are not safe. 

Some of the other most common problems that occur on sites like this are the willingness to accept your deposits, but withdrawing your winnings is a different story. Also, they never usually come good on any of the bonuses they offer. Unlicensed online casinos must be avoided at all costs.

They have also been known to use faulty software that nobody has ever heard of to give them more of a house edge and ensure players never win. They would also not think twice about selling your personal details and banking information to third parties on the dark web. 

What are the tell-tale signs to look out for on a trustworthy website today?

If you visit a website and something doesn’t seem right, close the page and never revisit it, or at least until you can find out if it’s trustworthy. 

A trustworthy website URL domain name in the address bar will always start with https://. 

A trusted eCommerce site that accepts payments for goods or services will likely use 128-bit (or higher) Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption or similar technology. SSL encryption is the same ‘stuff’ that banks, trading platforms, and other online financial institutions use to protect their customers. 

Final note

You can also learn more about website security usually by clicking on the padlock icon in the address bar (or whether that information might be retrievable in your preferred web browser). You can also run the website through a website checker and read the reviews for that site. 

Other safety checks you can carry out are finding its privacy policy, reviewing the contact details, checking its social media presence, and looking for any other seals of trust/accreditation/approval from trusted organisations/authorities/governments it might have.