On the whole Internet, there are approximately more than 150 million active websites up and running. As a result, it often becomes a real challenge for the users to identify safe websites that are trustworthy and reputed.
Have you ever wondered to know the reputation of a website before placing the order? Need to know whether a given website is child safe? Well, here are some of the ways to identify safe websites on the Web.
WOT or Web Of Trust (www.mywot.com):
WOT is a great place to test the reputation of your favorite website. WOT gives real-time ratings for every website based on the feedback that it gets from millions of trustworthy users across the globe and trusted sources, such as phishing and malware blacklists. Each domain name is evaluated based on this data and ratings are applied to them accordingly.
The reputation of each website is shown in terms of 4 components where green means excellent, yellow warns users to be cautious and red indicates potential danger.
Trustworthiness signifies the overall safety of the website. A poor rating may indicate that the site is associated with threats like Internet scams, phishing, identity theft risks and malware. For more information on phishing, you may refer my other post on how to identify and avoid phishing scams.
Vendor reliability tells you whether a given site is safe for carrying out buy and sell transactions with it. An excellent rating indicates superior customer satisfaction while a poor rating indicates possible scam or bad shopping experience.
Privacy indicates about “to what extent the site respects the privacy of it’s users and protects their personal identity and data”.
Child Safety indicates whether the content of a given site is appropriate for children. Site contents like sexual material, nudity and vulgarity will have a poor Child Safety rating.
In most cases, the WOT ratings are found to be highly accurate. To check the reputation of any given website, just visit www.mywot.com type-in the address of your favorite website and click on “Check now”. This tool alone can tell you a lot about the reputation and safety level of a website. However, in addition to this, I am giving you another 3 handy tools to identify safe websites on the Web.
McCafee SiteAdvisor is a free tool that is available as a browser add-on. It adds safety ratings to your browser and search engine results. You can download it from www.siteadvisor.com.
Using this tool, you can check whether a given site is said to have involved in malware activity in the past. To check this, go to SB Website Clearinghouse and enter the URL or domain name of a website and click on “Search Clearinghouse “.
If you see a Red or Yellow icon (as shown in the above snapshot) next to the search result, that means the site currently involves in some kind of malware activity. If you see an uncolored icon, that means the site was once involved in such activity in the past, but not now.
If the search does not return any result, that means the site was never involved in any of the malware activity in the past.
Even though StopBadware is a great option, this factor alone cannot be taken as a serious indicator to measure the reputation of a website. Many legitimate websites are also found to have been flagged due to hackers uploading malicious scripts and other bad content by compromising the site’s security.
Google PageRank is another great tool to check the reputation and popularity of a website. The PageRank tool rates every web page on a scale of 1 to 10 which indicates Google’s view of importance of the page. If a given website has a PageRank of less than 3, then it is said to be less popular among the other sites on the Internet.
However, PageRank will only tell you how much popular a given website is and has nothing to do with the safety level of a website. So, this tool alone cannot be used to evaluate a website’s safety and other factors.
PageRank feature is available as a part of Google Toolbar. You can download the Google Toolbar and install it to avail this feature.
I hope this post has given you enough information to help identify safe websites on the Internet. Waiting for your comments…