How to tell if a Website is Trustworthy
The Internet is used for a number of purposes from shopping to banking, research and entertainment. These activities also leave the user’s computer vulnerable to viral or hacking attacks from an untrustworthy website. While there are several companies and programs which offer a small amount of protection, the best way to limit problems from developing is to know how to avoid them.
What’s in a name?
One of the first clues about whether a website is trustworthy or not can be found in the domain name. The suffix of a domain will provide helpful insight, for instance, .edu is an educational site; .gov is government hosted; .mil is military based; .com is a commercial entity; and .org is associated with non-profit organizations. It is possible for a business to obtain a suffix outside their intended purpose, this is why the full name of the website should be considered.
Unidentified and Outdated
Avoid an old website and those with anonymous authors. The material is typically out of date and an author who is unwilling to identify themselves should immediately raise red flags. Sites which tend to be biased in the view they provide will often place a spin on information and worse yet misrepresent the matter. This is often seen with non-profit organizations and many news reporting sites.
Seek out websites that specialize in the desired information. By practicing this type of search, it will usually lead to professional wisdom and correct technical advice on a subject. You will also notice the author is identified and typically has credentialing which can be verified, such as a doctor or other prominent professional.
Review the links displayed on the website. Sites will link to other sites of the same level of quality to enhance the reliability and strength of the information presented to the public.
All of the above steps will aid in limiting the possibility of the computer from being compromised or a virus being downloaded from an unreliable website. Always keep an active and reputable virus program running which performs automatic updates. Be careful not to use multiple programs for protection, this causes the systems to compete and ultimately lowers the level of security.
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