How to avoid visiting fake, fraudulent or dangerous websites

  • Don’t search for objectionable material.

  • Don’t type in the website for websites you know to contain objectional material.

  • Don’t download pirated (illegally downloaded) software or data such as movies and music. Aside from infringing on copyright, you are providing an opportunity for cybercriminals to download viruses and malware to your computer alongside it. It’s cheaper and safer to buy the software or data you require from a reputable site. 

  • Don’t guess the address of a website.

  • Be careful with your spelling when typing a URL in.

  • Double check the website’s URL, especially if it came via an unexpected email. It may look very similar to a real website.

  • If a link is provided in an email, hover above the link to see if it is the same as what is typed. If not it is likely to be malicious. 

  • Things to look for:

    • look for the padlock symbol next to the URL – this indicates the site is secure

    • look for an “About this website” page

    • look for contact details, particularly a legitimate contact phone number

    • look for online reviews, but also be wary of fake online reviews

    • may contain a lot of poor grammar and spelling

    • site says that you have a virus or are in trouble with the law

    • asking for a direct bank transfer.