How can I tell if an ecommerce website is genuine?
Aug 16, · Check store reviews online and get the website’s rating from several trusted review sites. The key is to look for a website that removes ‘shill’ reviews but has a large enough number of reviews for each online store. Beware that many reviews are written right after the user has checked out. A legitimate store will have contact details on its site. If it is just a web contact form, without an address, email, and phone number you should probably be wary. All genuine online stores will be happy to help with any query you have so, if you are buying for the first time, do get in touch to see if they are real.
For every credible website, there are dozens chock full of information that's inaccurate, unreliable or just plain nutty.
For the unwary, inexperienced journalist or researcher, such sites can present a minefield of possible problems.
With that in mind, here are eight ways to tell if a website is reliable. The internet is full of websites that were started five minutes ago. What you want are sites associated with trusted institutions that have been around for a while and have a proven track record of reliability and integrity.
Such sites may include those run by government agenciesnonprofit organizations, foundations, or colleges and universities. You wouldn't go to an auto mechanic if you broke your leg, and you wouldn't go to the hospital to have your car repaired.
This is an obvious point: Look for websites that specialize in the kind of information you're seeking. So if you're writing a story on a flu outbreak, check out medical websites, such as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and so on. Sites run by companies and business—their websites usually end in.
And if they're trying to sell you something, chances are whatever information they're presenting will be tilted in favor of their product. That's not to say corporate sites should be excluded entirely. But be wary. Reporters write a lot about politics, and there are plenty of political websites out there.
But many of them are run by groups that have a bias in favor of one political party or philosophy. A conservative website isn't likely to report objectively on a liberal politician, and vice versa. Steer clear of sites with a political ax to grind and instead look for ones that are non-partisan. As a reporter, you need the most up-to-date information available, so if a website seems old, it's probably best to steer clear.
One way to check: Look for a "last updated" date on the page or site. If a site looks poorly designed and amateurish, chances are it was created by amateurs. Sloppy writing is another bad sign. Steer clear. But be careful: Just because a website is professionally designed doesn't mean it's reliable.
Articles or studies whose authors are named are often—though not always—more reliable than works produced anonymously. It makes sense: If someone is willing to put their rafter square how to use on something they've written, chances are they stand by the information it contains.
And if you have the name of the author, you can always Google them to check their credentials. Reputable websites often link to each other. You can find out which other websites link to the site you're researching by conducting a link-specific Google search. The search results will show you which websites link to the one you're researching.
If lots of sites are linking to your site, and those sites seem reputable, that's a good sign. Share Flipboard Email. Tony Rogers. Journalism Expert. Tony Rogers has an M. He has written and taught journalism for over 25 years. Updated December 04, Cite this Article Format. Rogers, Tony. How to Determine a Reliable Source on the Internet.
Visit the Better Business Bureau
Last Updated: April 8, References Tested. This article was written by Jack Lloyd. He has over two years of experience writing and editing technology-related articles. He is technology enthusiast and an English teacher. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. The wikiHow Tech Team also followed the article's instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 1,, times.
This wikiHow teaches you how to evaluate an internet site's credibility before using it. In addition to practicing basic internet safety, you can use Google's Transparency Report or the Better Business Bureau's site to verify a website's legitimacy. If the site is illegitimate, a quick Google check will be enough to inform you accordingly. Also, look at the website itself to see if it connects securely over https and displays a tiny padlock icon in the address bar.
If you want a more official confirmation of the site's legitimacy, use Google's Transparency Report or search for the site's name on the Better Business Bureau's website. For tips on using Google's Transparency Report tool, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue.
Related Articles. Article Summary. Method 1 of Type the website's name into a search engine and review the results. If the site in question is a hazard or simply an overwhelmingly illegitimate site , a cursory Google check will be enough to inform you accordingly.
Make sure you're looking at reviews and feedback from sources unaffiliated with the website. Look at the website's connection type. A website that has an "https" tag is usually more secure--and therefore more trustworthy--than a site using the more common "http" designation. This is because "https" sites' security certification is a process most illegitimate sites don't bother with.
Check the site's security status in your browser's address bar. For most browsers, a "safe" website will display a green padlock icon to the left of the website's URL. Evaluate the website's URL. A website's URL consists of the connection type "http" or "https" , the domain name itself e. Even if you've verified that the connection is secure, be on the lookout for the following red flags:  X Research source Multiple dashes or symbols in the domain name.
Domain names that imitate actual businesses e. One-off sites that use a credible site's templates e. Domain extensions like ". These sites tend not to be credible. As such, they don't carry the same credibility as a ". Look for bad English on the site. If you notice a large number of poorly-spelled or missing words, generally bad grammar, or awkward phrasing, you should question the site's reliability. Even if the site in question is technically legitimate insofar as it isn't a scam, any inaccuracies in language will also cast doubt on the accuracy of its information, thereby making it a poor source.
Watch out for invasive advertising. If your selected site has a stunningly large number of ads crowding the page or ads that automatically play audio, it's probably not a credible site. Additionally, consider looking elsewhere if you encounter any of the following types of ads:  X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.
National Institutes of Health Go to source Ads that take up the whole page Ads that require you to take a survey or complete some other action before continuing Ads that redirect you to another page Explicit or suggestive ads. Use the website's "Contact" page. Most sites provide a Contact page so that users can send questions, comments, and concerns to the owner of the site.
If you can, call or email the provided number or email address to verify the legitimacy of the website. If the site in question doesn't have a Contact page listed anywhere, it should be an immediate red flag. Use a "WhoIs" search to research who has registered the website's domain. All domains are required to display contact information for the person or company who has registered the domain. Some things to look out for:  X Research source Private registration: It's possible register a domain privately, where a "private registration" provider serves as the domain's contact, instead of the actual owner.
If a domain uses private registration, consider this a red flag. Contact information is suspicious: For example, if the name of a registrant is "Steve Smith," but the email address is "ramsaybolton hushmail.
Recent registration or transfers: A recent registration or transfer of a domain may indicate that a site is not trustworthy. Method 2 of Open the Google Transparency Report webpage. You can quickly run a website's address through this service to see its safety rating from Google. Click the "Search by URL" field.
It's in the middle of the page. Type in your website's URL. This includes the name of the website e. For best results, copy your website's URL and paste it into this field. Review your results. Sites range in rating from "No data available" to "Not dangerous" to "Partially dangerous" and so on.
For example, sites like WikiHow and YouTube achieve "Not dangerous" ratings from Google, whereas Reddit garners a "Partially dangerous" rating due to "deceptive content" e. The Google Transparency Report also provides examples of why it gave a certain site a rating, so you can decide for yourself whether or not the rating rationale pertains to you. Method 3 of Open the Better Business Bureau webpage. The Better Business Bureau website includes a verification process that you can use to validate your selected website.
If you're simply trying to see if the website is safe, use the Google Transparency Report. Click the Find a Business tab. For best results, copy and paste the exact URL into this field.
Type in a location. While this isn't mandatory, doing so will narrow your search. If you don't know your business' geographic location, skip this step. Click Search. You can verify your website's credibility by comparing the Better Business Bureau's results with the website's claims. For example, if your website claims to sell shoes but the Better Business Bureau links the URL to an ad revenue service, you know that the site is a scam.
However, if the Better Business Bureau results line up with the site's theme, you can probably trust the site. I believe so. The current certificate on the website is valid. It also has a. There are also multiple articles on other sites talking about them in seemingly legitimate contexts. Due to these factors, I think it is a genuine website.
Not Helpful 4 Helpful No it is not. If you don't know if the website is legit or not, use Google Chrome and see if it has a lock in the corner. If it does, it's safe. Not Helpful 9 Helpful No, it's a scam. The photos are from flightclub, so the place is fake.