Stop & Think before you Click!
Consider all these aspects together – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Even if you don’t enter any personal details, just landing on a dodgy website can start an automated assault of your computer, so you don’t want to hang around for any longer than you have to.
- How did you get there? Searching via Google almost always brings up the genuine website. Clicking from a link on an email, less likely.
- Branding & Design – the genuine company has a very clear, consistent and high quality design and logos. It’ll be extremely professional and have plenty of formal company information and boring legal disclaimers, as well as contact info you can cross reference on Google Maps which show business locations.
- Poor English / grammar / spelling is often a big giveaway. Professional companies have professional communications writers, using consistent language.
- What’s the exact web address? Fake ones can’t use the same one as the legit business…. but they can try and be just one letter out, or use a visually similar number instead of a letter, (1 instead of l), or juggle a combination of related words & symbols e.g. pepsi-cola.co.nz. And if it’s just http:// rather than https:// (a secure site) that’s instant alarm bells
- Is the content legal? If you want stuff that normally costs for free, expect to get a whole lot more than you bargained for, duh….