ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is This Site Trustable? Your 3-Step Guide To Safe Browsing

Updated on December 19, 2016

Establishing trust online is an important part of navigating safely on the internet. No matter how much you think you might know about technology, you are always susceptible to falling foul of a potential hacker when visiting a new website.

According to this report by Intel, 35 percent of respondents didn't know how to check whether a website is secure before providing payment details or personal information, which is a disturbingly high figure. Many people are willing to share credit card info with all manner of dodgy websites, like this guy below.

With that in mind, here is a simple 3-step guide to help you determine if a website is trustable so you can browse the internet safely and minimize the risk of becoming one of the many victims of cyber crime.

1. Verify SSL

SSL sounds like an esoteric term that only tech-savvy people will understand, but it's really quite simple. Any site that you give personal information to or any page that you need to input sensitive information on - should be secured with SSL. A Secure Sockets Layer encrypts your information before transmitting it over the web.

There are two easy ways to check if a page or website uses SSL. Firstly, in the address bar, you should see the URL begins with “https” as opposed to http. Secondly, a green lock icon that displays the security certificate will appear beside the URL.

If both of these items are present, you can generally rest assured that your information is safe and that web page is trustable.

2. User Feedback

User feedback represents a quick and accurate test of whether a site can be trusted. Web of Trust is a community-based review service that can help you determine if a given website is trustworthy. If someone has been scammed online, you can be sure they'll report it, and Web of Trust is one of the most popular places to do so.

The WOT interface is easy to use. Simply type the URL of the website you want to check into the search bar, and Web of Trust will present you with a trustworthiness score that is calculated based on user feedback for that site.

Using Facebook as an example, the Web of Trust community is confident that this website is trustable, so it receives a trustworthiness rating of 86.

If a website receives a poor trustworthiness score on MyWOT, it should set alarm bells ringing, and you'd be best avoiding that site. If you want to know exactly why a given website has a poor (or good) reputation, you can check out detailed user reviews on WOT that are mostly honest and insightful.

The key value of Web of Trust is that it provides an easy way to check if a website is trustable using information provided by people who have visited that site before.

There are other websites you can check for user feedback such as Norton’s Safe Web. The important point is to check for user reviews on a website with a strong community presence.

3. Use Google Safe Browsing

As a final website safety check, you can also search for a URL on Google's Safe Browsing reports. Google analyses billions of URLs, displaying warnings when it identifies an unsafe website from your search.

This is another easy and quick way to check if a website is trustable, and Google tends to detect unsafe websites quickly and efficiently.

You should combine the above three steps with every new website you visit for maximum safety. First, check the SSL on each website to make sure your personal information is secure. Secondly, make use of user review communities such as MyWOT to see whether real people actually trust the site. Finally, check if Google's Safe Browsing algorithms contain any negative reports or warnings about the website you want to visit.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • SgtCecil profile image

      Cecil Kenmill 

      43 hours ago from Osaka, Japan

      Good stuff! I've never heard of Google's Safe Browsing until now. Thx for the info.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)