The Characteristics of a Website You SHOULDN'T Trust

There are a lot of websites out there that seem totally fine at first glance – only to turn out be total scams. So, how can you tell if a website is trustworthy or not? Here are some characteristics of a website to look out for…

The website looks unprofessional

If the website is poorly designed and put together, it's likely not a reputable source. 

When considering web sources, don't underestimate the importance of web design - it can say a lot about the source. After all, first impressions count! The visual elements and layout can tell you if the website is well put together, providing an idea of how much effort has gone into maintaining it. Chances are if a website looks unprofessional - filled with unclear navigation and messy webpages - then it's unlikely to be a trustworthy source. While web design isn't a casting vote on trustworthiness, taking notice of its appearance can give you a good indication of the quality of information you may find there.

The website is full of typos and grammatical errors

Typo's and grammatical errors shows a lack of attention to detail and carelessness. 

Have you ever stumbled upon a website that seemingly never ends with typos and grammatical errors? These mistakes can be a red flag, as they suggest the content isn't generated by a professional or even worse-- it might be scam! The careless attitude of not double checking to make sure the text is error-free indicates that someone is skimping on attention to detail - an essential trait when it comes to creating quality material. It pays off to double check for these tiny details; if an individual isn't willing to put in the extra effort it's best to cut our losses and walk away.

The website has very little content

If there's not much information on the site, it's probably not worth your time

If a website appears to have a dearth of content available, it's probably not worth your time. The lack of content can mean little insight or information is provided for readers, leaving users feeling empty and disappointed by their experience. It might be the case that the content provided lacks depth or simply covers too narrow a scope to truly engage the audience. As such, if content is lacking from a site, it's probably better to view elsewhere in search of more content-rich material.

The website doesn't have a secure URL

If a website doesn't have a secure URL, don't trust it. 

Security is key these days, and when it comes to websites, a secure URL is paramount for safety. So what does this mean? Any url with https in front of it is considered secure. https stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and creates a secure channel to transfer data from the user to your website. If the website you're engaging with doesn't have https in its address, be sure to steer clear from giving out any confidential information until the url is https secured. In other words, if it's not https, don't trust it!

You can't find any contact information for the site

If there's no way to get in touch with whoever runs the site, it might not be legitimate. 

It's always worth thinking twice when a website doesn't clearly list contact information. Where the contact information is either incomplete or missing completely, there's always a chance the site isn't legit - it's not uncommon for less-reputable sites to hide their contact info so users can't contact them with complaints or inquiries. If that happens to you, take some time to double check the site - scour reviews and see if other people have had a good experience with them - because without contact info, your best bet may be walking away.

There are pop-up ads everywhere

Too many ads is a sign that the site isn't making enough money to support itself without resorting to annoying tactics like this

Have you ever felt like it's impossible to get anything done online without being bombarded with pop-up ads? We've become all too familiar with the annoyance of ads cluttering our web pages, but the truth is companies put them there because they aren't making enough money to support themselves any other way. Too many ads are a sign that something isn't quite right with a website, so it's best to not get drawn in and distracted - simply close out and find another more sustainable site.


How many of these signs have you encountered on a website before? If you see even one or two of them, it's probably best to close the tab and move on. The internet can be a scary place, but with a little knowledge and common sense, you can avoid most of the pitfalls that are out there. Just remember - if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If you want more information about how to stay safe online, contact us now!