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Indicators of a Spam vs. Legitimate Website

The Internet is a helpful resource for many things in our daily lives. We research, online shop, job hunt, and more. Due to our growing dependency on the Internet, it is important to be able to tell when a site looks fishy or if it’s safe to go ahead. If you venture into a spam site, you could accidentally download a virus and/or invite hackers into your system. It’s rare for smartphones to contract a virus, but it is possible. Also, hackers could steal your identity and personal information. To protect yourself, your family, and your computer/smart device, inform yourself on how to not fall into a spam site’s trap.

A bad website looks… bad.

An example of a spam website

If it looks suspicious, trust your feelings. The number one indicator of a bad website is if it’s littered with ads. A few ads on a page is fine, but if you fall into a sea of ads, X out immediately. Most likely, all of the “ads” are fake and actually contain a virus that will activate if you click on it. This also applies to pop-up ads claiming that you’ve won a free iPhone. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Spam ads are often flashy and exaggerated, such as shaking around. It is important that you close out the website, not just the ad. Even trying to close just the ad can result in damage.

Spam sites will also contain links leading to nowhere, will look outdated, and overall, looks inconsistent. Even little mistakes such as typos could be a red flag. They can pose as any type of website: movie/ TV streaming site, online clothing store, articles, ect. The page will look somewhat barren (aside from all the ads) and disorganized. If there’s no credibility, such as lack of contact info and incorrect facts, indicates an unreliable site.

A good site provides service and information, not viruses.

A legitimate company wants to form a trustful relationship with their website visitors, especially if there’s money involved. A good company will want to continuously receive your support, so they won’t scam you. You can be reassured that it’s a safe site if it looks clean and organized, and provides credibility. The most sure sign is the padlock HTTPS accompanying the URL. If there’s a link for you to report anything wrong, that’s a great sign that the site only has the best intentions.

 

There’s a grey area of poorly designed sites that are still safe and spam sites that appear to be good enough. Use your best judgement and be safe than sorry. When in doubt, try searching for reviews and ratings with Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report.

 

Interested in finding out more? Contact Redwood Creative today!