A website’s reputation is sacrosanct when it comes to e-commerce activity, the veracity of data, and trust between B2B and B2C. How can you detect a fraudulent webpage?
Website Credibility Checks & Balances
The Internet presents us with windows to the world. We can source information on pretty much any imaginable topic in the universe, but what information is credible? How can we tell if a website’s reputation warrants our attention? The sad reality is that many websites partake in window dressing, to present an image of themselves that belies the truth.
A seemingly professional-looking website may be nothing more than a smokescreen for an evil plot. You’ve probably read about many horror stories, watched documentaries detailing the extent of online fraud, and possibly even fallen victim to a scam yourself.
How Do You Guard Against The Nefarious Activities Of Fraudulent Websites?
The answer to this question is multi-fold. A knee-jerk response would be something along the lines of online ‘reputation checkers’ or ‘independent review sites’ that attest to the website’s credibility in question. Depending on where you source information about websites’ credibility, you may or may not be subjected to biased, paid information.
For example, review sites typically host content that is favorable to the companies being reviewed. Paid content writers will spin a review to make any company look good and enhance its reputation in the public’s eyes. As a freethinking individual, it is imperative that you not be swayed by biased content that paints the picture of a credible, reputable website.
As a case in point: Companies listed on Amazon often pay their customers to write favorable reviews, drive up traffic, and generate profits. This is a common practice on many e-commerce platforms, which questions the credibility of ‘independent reviews’ to begin with.
How Can You Tell If You’re Being Sold a Lie?
It’s difficult to know whether the website you are browsing or shopping at, or sourcing information from, or transacting with is credible. Phishing scams are notorious for stealing personal, sensitive information by encouraging users to click on links leading to fictitious websites.
Recently, a massive fraud occurred when the cryptocurrency wallet platform Ledger was hacked, and hundreds of thousands of user accounts were exposed. The sophisticated hack had access to telephone numbers and email addresses of a massive chunk of Ledger account holders.
While they couldn’t steal the cryptocurrency, they attempted to get users to submit their 24-word security words so that the cryptocurrency could be stolen. How did they do it? They redirected users to a fictitious website that differed ever so slightly from the URL of the original website. For those who were none the wiser, they entered their sensitive information and lost their cryptocurrency. Hacks like these are commonplace online. This is an unfortunate state of affairs, but it is a reality that we must all contend with.
A Web of Trust Is Required
There are solutions everywhere; you just need to know where to look. MyWOT (Web of Trust) is robust mobile security and safe browsing protection application. This system offers functional solutions to the issue of website credibility. The MyWOT application is many years in the making, with 100 million reviewed websites under its broad umbrella.
It provides all-round protection against harmful websites, unstable Wi-Fi connections, and potentially dangerous applications. It is predicated on the power of the crowd. In other words, 114 million+ users who have downloaded and installed WOT contribute to its effectiveness as an instant detection mechanism for harmful websites and harmful applications.
Among the many benefits of implementing this app as part of your security network are complete website protection, instant alerts (Green for Safe to Browse, Red for Harmful and Stay Away). Already, some 56 million+ websites have been fully rated and reviewed by the MyWOT community of users. The benefits of such a crowd-based anti-phishing app are profound.
Users have full protection against phishing scams, with guaranteed site security tests and real-time malware protection mechanisms in place. The recently added Wi-Fi protection feature is excellent for scanning Wi-Fi networks, detecting risks, and providing instant feedback about secure connections.
Cross-reference Significant Claims To Ensure The Authenticity of Websites
In summary, there are many things you can do to check the reputation of a website. On-site badges should never be accepted at face value – cross-reference them. For example, an online casino that claims to be licensed and regulated by a specific gaming authority can easily be checked. If a company claims high ratings at the BBB (Better Business Bureau), that too can be checked.
On-site badges and accreditations are invitations for crosschecking – so perform due diligence without going overboard. Fortunately, the HTTPS protocol is a step in the right direction. You can always dig a little deeper to find out if the URL of the website your browsing is indeed the legitimate URL of the company you intend to transact with, communicate with, or interact with. Happy browsing.
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