There are a number of options available to you.
Google has a habit of compiling user reviews of high-traffic sites towards the top of the search results, so be sure to see if there are any.
- Be sure you’re looking at reviews and feedback from sources not affiliated with the website. Look at the connection type of the website. A site that has an “https” is normally safer and more trustworthy than a site having the more well-known “http.” This is because “https” sites’ security certification is a procedure most illegitimate sites don’t bother with.
A site that uses an “https” connection can still be untrustworthy, so it’s best to check the website using other methods too. Make sure the site’s payment page especially is an “https” page.
- Authenticate the site’s security status in your browser’s address bar. For most browsers, a secure website will have a green padlock icon to the left of the website’s URL.
You can click on the padlock icon to check the details of the website (i.e. the sort of encryption used).
- Evaluate the website’s URL. A website’s URL contains the connection type (http or https), the domain name itself (i.e. wikihow), and the extension (.com, .org, .net.). Even if you’ve verified that the connection is safe, be on guard for the following red flags:
Multiple symbols and dashes in the domain name.
Domain names that mimic actual businesses (Amaz0n or NikeOutlet).
One-off sites that utilize a real site’s templates (“visihow”).
Domain extensions like “.biz” and “.info”. These sites have a tendency to not be trustworthy.