How to assess a website security level?

At a time when online scams are more and more numerous, it is sometimes essential to evaluate the credibility of a site before consulting it or making a purchase. Indeed, it is out of the question to entrust your bank details to a third party who would not be reliable…
Moreover, with the profusion of information, it can be judicious in certain situations to check that a source is credible, the “fake news” feeding many sites needing clicks to generate advertising revenues.
There are different ways to evaluate the credibility of a website and we present here the main clues that you can use to conduct your investigation.

The referencing in directories of official organizations

In order to know if you can trust or not an Internet site, do not hesitate to consult the directories proposed by official organizations evolving in the same sector of activity.
Yes, these directories make sure to list only legitimate sites. If the site on which you wonder is present, it can be considered as credible. If it is not, don’t immediately assume that it is not reliable but continue your investigation.

Fake contents and advertising banners galore

To evaluate the credibility of a site, the simple consultation of its pages can also be rich in information.
If you notice that the pages offer fake content with a large number of advertising banners, there is a good chance that you have simply landed on a parking page.
More generally, except if a site has just been launched, also avoid those proposing the famous “Lorem Ipsum” since it means that no content has been created. However, in 2019, all project owners in the Internet world know that content is essential and should not be neglected.

Flashy animations and amateur design

As soon as a brand or a company wants to prove its credibility on the web, it will give a major importance to the design and the aesthetics of its website.
If you are faced with a web showcase that gives an amateurish image and seems to need abusive flashy animations to promote its products, no doubt it is better to flee and not spend any money.

Fraudulent web site web design
Web design of a fraudulent site

Dubious ads

Although some websites use advertising to monetize themselves, the banners that are displayed must be legitimate.
Thus, a website that advertises platforms promising to get rich in a few minutes for a subscription fee of a few euros per month is hardly credible and smells like a scam.
Take the time to analyze the advertisements posted online. If they are dubious, you are probably on a satellite site set up by people with bad intentions to attract Internet users and lead them to a site where a scam is in place.

Measuring Domain Authority

If you want to rely on a numerical indicator to measure the credibility of a website, it is certainly its domain authority that you will have to scrutinize.
Having taken over from PageRank – Google has decided not to update it anymore – the domain authority is a score out of 100 that indicates the potential of a website based on its backlinks, its content, its SEO, etc.
Once the domain authority reaches 50, it can be considered that a site is perfectly credible.

Caution: Great care must be taken when measuring the domain authority of a site that is less than 2 years old since this indicator penalizes recently created sites.

The Moz tool allows you to measure the domain authority of a site.

Domain authority of a fraudulent site
Domain authority of a fraudulent site

Related social networks

It is also possible to get an idea of the credibility of a website through its social networks. In 2019, it is rare that a web page does not have its Facebook page, Instagram profile or even its Twitter account.
Check to see if these things exist and if they are active. If they have been dormant for many months, it may indicate that a site is just surviving. It will be better to stay away from what they are offering as products or services.

Now that you know how to assess the credibility of a website as accurately as possible, there is no doubt that you will not be the next victim of an online scam, nor the one who will share false information or rumors on social networks.
With your new knowledge, you will be able to surf the web with a light heart and without fear of falling into one of the many traps that are present.
Article written by Jérôme Danjoux

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