Here’s how to verify the authenticity of any website

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In the digital age, the Internet has become one of the most trusted sources of information. However, it is easy for a person to fall victim to different online attacks and it has become harder to identify whether a website is fake or genuine. Understanding how to retrieve correct information online and avoid misinformation is important. However, there are some things you can pay attention to that can help verify the authenticity of any website.

It is very easy to miss the website URL. The tricks of the scammers are to create websites with addresses that mimic those of genuine websites like Google or eBay. They rely on you to hover over the address and domain name, so you should always double-check the address bar.

  • Check website security

Look for the lock icon on the URL bar to find out if the site is secure. The WiFi should also have a lock icon next to it to show it’s encrypted. This is the best way to ensure that your personal information is transferred as securely as possible. However, this does not guarantee against a fraudulent website, but it does show that the site owner uses secure encryption processes to transfer data and protect themselves from scammers.

  • Check for spelling or grammatical errors

Fake websites are usually hastily created and have excessive spelling, punctuation, and obvious grammatical errors. Even legitimate websites have occasional typos, but still strive to present a professional website.

  • Check the presence of the site on social networks

Most legitimate businesses and brands have some level of social media presence. The fake websites have icons of popular social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, but they are not linked to any genuine social media account. Browse the company’s platform for a long time before trusting them.

Review the options for contacting the business. If you don’t see multiple options (phone, email, live chat, or physical address), proceed with caution. Websites providing fake content will not provide these details and if they provide their contact numbers most of the time calls will not be answered or you will find the number inactive. If you land on an advertiser’s page selling various products, you should check their store/office address and call the numbers listed there.

  • View the site’s privacy policy

Websites are required to have a privacy policy which is mandated by law which gives transparency to website visitors with policies and procedures on how their data is collected, used, stored and protected. Most websites have a webpage that provides very detailed information. Look for this information and read it carefully before providing your information.

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