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    How to Check if a Website Is Legitimate

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    how to tell if a website is legit canada

    In this article, we’re taking a look at some tips for how you can check to see if a website is legitimate. Read on to learn more.

    In today’s era of online scams and phishing attacks, it’s more important than ever to know how to check if a website is legit. By following a few simple steps, you can protect yourself from becoming the victim of a potentially devestating scam. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at some tips for how to check if a website is legitimate, so that you can surf the web with peace of mind.


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    Use a Free Web Advisor Program to Check if the Site Is Safe

    With the increase in cybercrimes, one of the best ways to tell if a website is legit is by using a secure web advisor program to check if the site you’re visiting is safe. A program like this can help you stay away from those websites that are malicious and can potentially harm your personal information. There are several free programs available that will warn you if there’s anything suspicious about the website’s your visiting. Often these can be found in the form of browser extensions, so you don’t even see them until they’re helping you out.

    Look for a Padlock in the Address Bar

    Another important step you should take to ensure security is to look for a padlock in the address bar. This is especially true when making an online purchase — if the website you’re on doesn’t have the padlock icon, your personal and financial information may be compromised.

    What the Padlock Means

    This handy little icon is a quick way to see if the website you’re on has an SSL certificate, meaning that you’re protected from any unwanted eyes seeing your personal information, should the site be compromised. This is also seen in the actual URL — if the link starts with “https” instead of “http”, the site has an SSL certificate.However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t protect you from the website owner taking your information if they’re illegitimate. This provides just one layer of defense from external threats. Regardless, always be sure that your browser has a padlock and the URL begins with “https”.


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    Look for a Physical Address

    One of the main indicators that a website is legitimate is by looking for a physical address, usually located on the contact page. The presence of a physical address indicates that customer service inquiries can be made through using traditional methods, such as by phone, e-mail, or by visiting the store in person. If there’s no mention of a physical address anywhere on the website, it’s possible that customer service or after-sale support might not exist at all — which can be a worrying sign that you should proceed with caution.

    See if There Are Any Reviews of the Website

    When evaluating the legitimacy and quality of a website, it is important to do an online search for customer reviews. If there are none, it’s a good sign that you should be wary about trusting the site’s content. A lack of reviews may be a sign that the website hasn’t been in operation for very long or that it’s not respected among users. Additionally, it could potentially be a sign of a fraudulent business. Taking the time to read user reviews can save headaches and provide valuable information on customer service and product quality when using a new website.


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    Use Google’s Transparency Report to see if the website is legitimate

    Google’s Transparency Report is an incredibly helpful tool to use when verifying a website’s legitimacy. By using the report, users can check the security and privacy of data on the website they are visiting. This includes knowing whether or not the website has encountered any malware, when it was last updated, and whether or not there is any unsafe content. Additionally, the Transparency Report offers insight into what kind of traffic comes in and out of a website before you decide to interact with it. Allowing users to make informed decisions about their safety and web presence makes this report invaluable in today’s digital world.

    Research the Company Behind the Website

    Whether you’re shopping online for a new pair of shoes or downloading music, it’s important to research the company behind the website. Check for reviews, company history, management team and more to ensure that your transactions are safe and secure. If you can’t find any information about the company backing the website, chances are it’s not legitimate and therefore should not be trusted. Be on guard and make sure to investigate any websites before giving them your personal information or money.


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    Check Their Social Media Presence

    It is important to check a website’s social media presence to determine whether or not it is legitimate. Social media has become an integral part of any business’s marketing strategy, and it can be a great indicator of the trustworthiness or legitimacy of a website. The presence of active social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a good sign that there is a real team behind the website. Checking reviews on these platforms can also help you identify any potential issues or areas of improvement before trusting a website with your personal and financial information.

    Check the Contact Page

    It is important to check a website’s contact page to verify its legitimacy. A legitimate website should have a clearly stated contact page with complete information, including an address, phone number, email address and/or live chat support. This information should be easily accessible through the home page or footer of the website. Visiting the contact page is a great way to ensure that there is an organization behind the website, and not just another scammer or identity thief.


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    Take a Look at the Overall Appearance of the Website

    A website’s overall appearance can be a great indicator of its legitimacy. Paying attention to the visual elements of the website, from its design to its layout, can help you decide whether or not it is trustworthy. A well-designed website will almost always have original, well-written content with little to no spelling mistakes. Additionally, the website should also be easy to navigate and have a clear structure that makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. If the website looks sloppy, outdated or unprofessional, you may want to consider checking other options.

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    Originally published February 27, 2023, updated August 25, 2023

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