Ways to Identify Safe Websites on the Internet

Identify Safe Websites

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.

1. 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. A snapshot of WOT ratings for gohacking.com is shown below:

WOT Ratings for a Safe Website

As shown in the above snapshot, 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.

2. McCafee SiteAdvisor:

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.

3. StopBadware:

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 “. You will see the result something as shown below:

StopBadWare Search Results

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.

4. Google Pagerank:

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…

31 Comments

  1. Harkunwar
    May 5, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    when i intalled my wot and mcaafe site advisor theu=y gave differten answers mywot said it safe and site advisor said it unsecure
    what should i do please tell me


    • Srikanth
      May 7, 2011 at 8:05 PM

      @ Harkunwar

      In some cases you can trust WOT and ignore Mcafee site advisor…


  2. Jatin
    May 5, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    I would rate WOT as best one !! ;)


  3. Dameize
    May 5, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Nice article, I use WOT as well in firefox and I think it works nicely. The only problem ive found is legitimate websites can be penalised because some people might not like them. Some good examples are some political websites for parties etc. I was actually going to post an article on WOT on my blog http://www.hackfile.org so if your interested I will repost this with links to your site etc and we can affiliate if you want.


  4. avinash
    May 5, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    hello srikanth ! what opinion about on online jobs site .all of this sites are fraud or may something be genuine . give me your suggestion


  5. SAMDOL
    May 8, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    Hi Srikanth
    i’m glad to know bout this
    BUT. can u tech me/us,
    how to hide some informations in domaintools.com?


  6. Harkunwar
    May 9, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    thnx for telling


  7. Evan derek
    May 10, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Srikant bro………………..i’m a regular visitor of your site!! i’m waiting for new updates every week! please update it frequently bro……….this site is my guide to COMPUTER world. THANKS A LOT


  8. pearl
    May 11, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    its a very useful information,i liked this article,thanks for posting.


  9. siva_phd9
    May 18, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    APART FROM THE ABOVE TOOLS NORTAN SAFEWEB, AVG LINK SCANNER ALSO GOOD TOOLS FOR SITE RATINGS.


  10. Shadab
    May 31, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Thanks for this information…….. WOT/Web Of Trust is the best tool for this………


  11. Neeraj
    June 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Thanks Sir, 4 such a good article……..I hope it will be useful 4 me in near future……..Could u also tell some good book based on hacking(foundation book)


  12. tientiendung87
    July 5, 2011 at 10:31 AM

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    I just received this wed a friend!
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  13. The Nev
    July 14, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    Always willing to learn something I don’t know, THANKS.


  14. sandy25
    July 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    thanks a lot sir……………pls tell which softwares are free.


  15. joseph
    August 10, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    this is the best article i have ever read on the net.thank sir


  16. varun
    October 1, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    i trust WOT but onces so happened that green for excellent rating is provided for excellent trustworthy,vendor,privacy,child safety
    but when is entered the site my kaspersky antivirus should a warning of virus attack than how can we fully trust WOT


  17. santosh
    October 9, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    nice information bro
    thnks for giving such nice information


  18. Movies
    January 24, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Is there anyway that can a “safe site ” badge can be put on the website? as far as you know… this way users and visitors can have a pretty good idea of what site they are on, don`t you think?

    great info…thnx


    • Srikanth
      February 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      @ Movies

      Yes there is! Here is the one which you might be looking for: WOT Trust Seal


  19. Wolfgang Puck
    February 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    There is clearly a bunch to know about this. I suppose you made various good points in features also.


  20. Gamezwap
    February 18, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Vary nice article


  21. Ron
    May 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    awsome article…d 1st two add-ons are the best..
    thanx a lot..


  22. Fast junk vehicle removal
    June 14, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    Hi, I like your website. this is the best article i have every day read on the net.thank you.


  23. SoftActivity
    July 19, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    tHanks. very helpful information.


  24. Yassin
    September 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    good very excellent
    can u help to make a virus (i have it sample)


  25. rajkamal
    September 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Thanks for regularly posting new information.Very useful for beginers.


  26. rajkamal
    September 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Thanks for the informative article on wot.All of your articles are very useful for the beginers.


  27. Rohan
    September 24, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    thanks


  28. onchannel
    December 1, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    is this 99% accurate? because i have tested a website and it says on google that is not safe but when checked on the webtrust everything was showing as safe…

    any oppinion about my inquiry?


    • Srikanth
      December 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      This means that the website has a temporary issue with malware infection, but has a very good track record and reputation. This warning will be lifted by Google as soon as the site owner takes action to clean up any malware on his site. So avoid visiting the site until the warning disappears in the Google search results.


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