Are Websites Secure and Can They be Trusted
Thursday, October 31, 2013
The internet has gradually crept into the way people conduct most of their business, from shopping to insurance applications to personal conversations. But as we move more of our money and personal details online, criminals quickly realised the advantages of setting up fake websites to deceive us into handing over our most valuable information. Such scam sites cannot always be distinguished from the real thing, but there are some ways to identify most of them.
Features of Secure and Credible Websites:
- Real organisations do not hide their physical addresses, telephone numbers, tax numbers, website registration information and so forth. They are proud of their offline presence if they have it.
- The websites of credible organisations are usually located in a network of links. If they are members of a respected organisation, they link to it and it links to them.
- They are easy to contact. While online contact forms have become increasingly popular, an organisation with real people answering phones will always be more credible than those that steer clear of personal contact. Moreover, while many credible organisations outsource their call centres to foreign companies, real organisations are concerned about their image and will not outsource communication to people with poor English and communication skills. So a telephone conversation can often dispel doubts. Look out for a telephone number (especially if it is a toll-free one), an email address and a physical address.
- Linguistic and typing errors are a dead give-away that a website might not be what it claims to be. Credible organisations care about their reputation, and will not throw it away with sloppy website content.
- Credible websites have real people that stand behind them. They can either be contacted directly, or the websites link to their resumes, other online projects, some of their contacts, and so forth.
- The most credible sites have SSL security certificates from trusted venders that are widely recognized.
- Testimonials are controversial, since they can be stories deliberately made up by the site administrator. But what does add to an organisation’s credibility is if independent surveys have been done that are listed on the website. Endorsements by credible organisations or persons also help a lot.