How to Recognize a Dangerous Website

While surfing the Web one of the greatest dangers can come from malicious sites online, here's how to recognize them and defend yourself

While surfing the Web one of the greatest dangers can come from websites. Within the portals can often hide malware and viruses that are able to infect our computer. To recognize a dangerous website you need to pay attention to small details that are a wake-up call.

In addition to viruses, scams and frauds spread on the Internet and understand whether a site is reliable or not is not easy. Usually a site begins to make us doubt when we see a lot of advertising, if we notice several errors in the texts and images, and also if the structure does not seem the classic, clean, to which we are now accustomed. These may be the first indications, but they are not always true. Nowadays hackers recreate malicious sites identical to the originals and understanding that it is a malicious copy is not easy.

What are the dangerous sites

The dangerous sites usually aim to collect information about us. Like credentials, bank account number, email addresses or phone numbers. So it's on the sites where we enter this data that we need to pay extra attention. Alarm bells should also go off on those sites that ask us to install a new version of a program, download a plugin or when we are about to download a file, document or movie. Remember that you should never download players and updates from streaming video sites because they are always viruses. Also beware of websites where we notice a lot of advertisements and pop-ups opening all the time. One of those pop-ups could be malware.

How to defend yourself

Unfortunately, if we use Google as our search engine, some sites are blocked by default. That is, before continuing, the user is asked if he/she is sure he/she wants to enter that portal because it is considered untrustworthy or malicious. However, this is a control system that is not always effective. On social networks or messaging apps, when we see or receive a URL, it is always better to analyze it before clicking on it. How to do it? Simple, just copy the link and paste it into analysis tools like Comodo Web Inspector or Zulu URL Risk Analyzer. They are both free services.

Deeper Analysis

After realizing that the site we were about to enter is dangerous we can also do a deeper analysis to find out why that particular portal could be a trap for hackers. To do a deeper scan just use the service offered by Virus Total. So let's take the URL and copy it inside the official website of the Virus Total tool. This way you will know what reports the site has received in the past. Whether it contains malicious pop-ups, fraudulent offers and so on. To check the reputation of a site we can also use Web Of Trust. This is a page where each site is reviewed as if they were feedback from an app or social.

Watch out for the HTTPS wording

Even if the site hasn't shown a bad reputation, based on the analysis of the previously listed services, you should always verify that the portal uses encryption. To do this, just look at whether the URL starts with http or HTTPS. The second wording indicates the use of encryption. If we are going to buy on an e-commerce or ticket site, for trains, planes or vacations, it is essential that the site uses this particular protocol. Finally, to be on the safe side, you should always install the extension HTTPS Everywehere which prevents you from falling on deceptive phishing sites, identical to the originals, but not real.

Report the site

When you fall on a malicious website you can report the danger of the portal. To prevent the portal from creating danger to other users. To do this there are two methods: either we report the URL to the online police station, or directly to search engines, which will penalize it within the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).