Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

What Are the Signs of an Untrustworthy Website?


Millions of websites are available on the internet. Most of these websites are safe to visit and provide valuable information or services to the visitor. However, there are also many sites on the internet that are unreliable and potentially dangerous to the computer, tablet, or mobile device used to access them. Web users should take care to identify and avoid suspicious locations on the internet. However, you don’t have to become a cybersecurity expert to identify these dangerous websites. Here are a few things found on suspicious websites that can give them away.

Suspicious Links

Be aware of unsafe links when visiting a website. Once clicked on, an unsafe link can do much damage to your computer or mobile device. These links are often made to look like a shortcut to an interesting video, unbelievable news event, or an unbeatable deal. One possible way to identify a dangerous link is to use the cursor to hover over the link without clicking on it. You should be able to see the full URL of the link in the bottom corner of your screen. If it isn’t something you recognize, don’t risk it.

Name Mimicking

A dishonest website will often seek to convince a visitor it possesses a level of authority the website has not earned. A common tactic is to borrow the name of a more trustworthy business. When visiting a website that appears to have the name of a trusted business or authoritative organization, make sure it is more than just an attempt to steal the status of the organization.

Website Redirects

The source of unwanted redirects when visiting a website is often adware or other harmful programs. The aim of this adware is to send your browser to a place where false or misleading advertising exists. These redirects can also be used to introduce your computer or mobile device to web locations that can cause more harm to the device.

Site Appearance

An amateurish appearance to a website is usually a sign that the site was created by someone without any real website design experience. While this is not a problem in itself, you should be conscious of motives other than the dissemination of information through the use of the website.

Final Thoughts

The internet is a great place to find information, enjoy games, watch videos, and take part in a number of other entertaining activities. However, it is important to be aware that some websites you will visit have less than honorable intentions. A common sense approach and adherence to the suggestions above will make for a safe and pleasurable web browsing experience.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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