How To Know If A Website Is Safe

Browsing the internet is not always the safest activity. Some websites have software that will deviously install itself on your computer and potentially steal financial details, slow down your computer or send you unwanted advertising emails.

The majority of this software is downloaded when you visit websites that aren’t safe. How can you tell whether a site is safe to visit or not?

Common Tips

One of the best tips for your online browsing safety is to double check the url of every site you enter. Many websites hosting malicious software will closely mimic official sites in their address. For instance, sometimes they will have an extra letter or have one left off.

You could also use sites that use HTTPS instead of HTTP. However, the former of these isn’t foolproof and some websites which are legitimate will use HTTP.

There are also some handy tools for checking websites that you are visiting are safe. The first is Google Safe Browsing. To use this service, type in (ex. followed by the website you wish to test. You can also test IP address. The results will let you know whether the site has hosted any malware software within the last three months.

HpHosts is another similar service. For this, simply enter in the site into the search box and it will check that against a database of known problematic websites.

Where You Are Visiting

Another common tip to help you protect your computers is to avoid certain industries. Gambling, adult themed and file sharing sites are normally accused of being malware hosts. Therefore, it is best to avoid these websites.

Finally another good piece of advice for knowing whether the sites you are visiting are safe and secure is to trust your browser. At times they will attempt to warn you about the security certificates being out of date or other details that raise the red flag to your browser.


Protecting your computer­ can be a difficult task. Keeping to high quality websites and those that do not host malicious software is sometimes a game of Russian roulette. However, by following the advice above you can reduce the risks of surfing the internet.

For further protection while browsing the internet evaluate SmartShield® CurrentWare, our web filtering software.