Spot the Not: 6 Easy Ways to Identify a Malicious Website
Today, more and more people are online. Because of the pandemic and guidelines for making people stay indoors, the internet population continues to rise. When you’re online, you can virtually do anything you want. Do you want to order pizza? You can just go to your favorite pizza restaurant’s website and order. How about some clothes or ordering computer parts? Check Amazon, and you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for.
Even playing games online is a big thing. If you want to live out your fantasy of being an overpowered knight who rescues princesses all day, you can do it online. It’s easy to get caught up on the internet if you’re confident and having fun while doing it. However, anyone who goes online should always be careful. Now that everything is possible online, it’s no secret that many people want to take advantage of other people.
Nowadays, it’s challenging to determine if a site is reliable or not, since plenty of malicious websites are looking respectable. You should always ensure that a website isn’t dangerous with the help of multiple approaches. It is important to consider entering sensitive information such as banking information, credit card numbers, and passwords. Here are some ways to spot a malicious website.
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Check for Automatic Downloads
Most of the time, malicious websites will offer you lots of freebies and goodies claiming to do something good for your PC. Sometimes, it can also be something irresistible, which leads to most people downloading that “free tool.” Don’t fall for that scheme. Most of the time, these malicious websites will send you viruses and other nasty stuff online that can steal your private information.
Some hack tools can even take control of your PC without you knowing. Always be careful of clicking when you land on these sites, as a single click can prompt an automatic download. A tool like Malwarebytes can also help with identifying sites and suspicious programs. You can check this Malwarebytes review for more information.
Not every website will be an excellent copy of a real one. Hackers usually put together a collection of generic sites at once and submit them online, then label it with any domain names.
If you may end up at any site, and it looks something like ten years ago with poor grammar, misspellings, and terrible layout all over the place, then it’s not a good idea to provide your sensitive information. Sure, most of the small software developers don’t have enough money to come up with a pleasing website, but the poor presentation should always make you think twice.
Tells You Something Bad or Good
If a malicious website won’t offer you a tool to download, it has other ways to get to you. If you get to visit a website that’s telling you that your computer is slowing down and that you need to click a specific link to fix, it is almost always a malicious site.
Don’t fall for this trap. Websites and tools, unless allowed by you, have no way of knowing what the status of your PC is. Alternatively, sites that tell you to click a link because you’ve won something are all the same.
The Padlock Icon
Another sign that should help you is the “lock” icon which is displayed at the left side of the search bar of your web browser’s window. Click that icon to verify if a website is reliable. However, don’t just look for the icon and believe that a site is secure. Your browser will have specific information regarding the website’s reliability if you click on the “lock,” so take time to read it carefully before providing any of your information to the site.
Opt for the Encryption
One famous type of hacker’s work is faking bank sites. From there, unwary users enter their bank details. Hackers use this method when they’re trying to steal data from users. If a user logs in, the site will divert the login information straight to the hackers, then will successfully access the account and take everything they can.
So, to avoid that unfortunate scenario, never click a link in an email from someone you don’t know. Instead, manually type in the address or bookmark your trusted page. Still, to further verify that you’re on the right page, check your browser’s address bar. You should ensure that the domain name is correct.
Further, any trustworthy banking site has to start a secure connection quickly. The address should begin with “https://“ and the browser should display a color or key showing a secure connection.
Check the Content
Aside from the presentation, it’s necessary to ask what the website tries to get you to do. If it wants you to download software or a program, watch a video, take a survey, or provide information for a chance to win money or a free prize, could indicate an attack.
So, when a site offers a particular piece of software, search the software’s name using Google to find the website of the developer. It can be helpful because a lot of hackers use free software, attach viruses, and then set them up online at any generic site. It then leads to many people searching for the particular program to end up on a generic site and download the malicious software assuming that it’s the real one.
Now that COVID-19 has spread worldwide, strict measures call for people to stay indoors. Because of the people heeding this guideline from experts, there’s a steady rise in the population online. Even before the pandemic hit, many people are already doing business online. From ordering food to completing bank transactions, you name it; the internet has it.
Because of the information available online, people should always be careful when browsing. The tips mentioned above can help people spot a potentially malicious website. Although the internet is a great place to do business and have fun, never let your guard down.