Nowadays, you can find everything on the internet. Any products or services you would ever need are readily available online. It is easy and convenient! You do not have to find an actual office to inquire; you can now do that with modern website and application platforms today. However, how can you find reliable and credible ones? That is the question. How would you know if you have found a business website you could trust?
An existing 47% rate of committed cybercrime and website fraudulence is simply your biggest reason to be concerned and careful. As each progressing year passes, criminals also find new ways to take advantage of people online. Fake and scamming websites are now getting trickier to spot. Regular-looking promotional emails are now used as tools to hack your accounts and steal your identity. Even phone scammers who like to pretend they are bank agents, Amazon dealers, and insurance staff are now professionally sounding. If you are not aware and careful, you can easily be victimized by these criminals.
Whether you are looking for products online or business websites for their services, there are a couple of things that you should know to protect yourself and your personal information. This article will discuss three important things to look for in any website you browse.
Before anything else, you have to make sure that you are dealing with real professional people. For example, you are looking for real-estate financing services around your area, and you came across at least twenty different websites. Of course, you can be sure that the leading mortgage company will show up on the first page of Google, as the search engine has already deemed the website credible. Still, it is always best to be safe.
Thoroughly check every business website you visit. Check for their contact information as this guarantees that they have a registered onsite office ran by actual licensed people. Also, go to their About Us page and read their services carefully. It is where you will be able to see if they have been around for many years, or they have only recently sprouted, and if it is the latter, check for more sources of information. This now brings us to the next item on the list.
Reviews and Recommendations
Just like any other online transaction, you should never forget to read customer reviews. Always ask about other people’s experience with the product or service as it will guide you with your own buying process. Was the product or service good as promised? Was the customer service outstanding or not? Were people accommodating? Finally, how long did it take them to deliver the said product or service? See, these are the questions that you cannot simply ask the business. You will learn about these from the people that already made a business transaction online, and that is why you should ignore a testimonial page on the websites you visit.
If there is no existing testimonial page, you can find some in Google reviews. There are also possible reviews on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Now, if there are no official social media pages and no Google Business listings, pack your bags and go. That is one red flag in business websites that screams sketchy.
Secured Payment Gateway
The last thing on our list is the most crucial aspect of online transactions, so let us get straight to the point. If the website asks for your card details almost as immediately, double-check for the details listed above. If a website also sends you a personal email where you have to click a link to be redirected somewhere, stop. These are forms of phishing attacks that are designed to steal your personal information and bank details. You will be surprised how fast these criminals can lock you out of your mobile banking apps and cards.
A payment gateway means that banking networks authorize the website to do transactions and payments. With an e-commerce website, the payment gateway is your checkout page, meaning you do not have to leave the website to buy a product. A credible website has secured payment portals where you can enter your card information, such as PayPal. Secured gateways also honor Mastercard, Visa, and Amex as modes of payments. You can also use Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
Finding credible business websites is also about being critical regarding who you are talking to. Remember that even if it is all legit, it does not guarantee the quality of products and services. It is up to you to be an intelligent consumer, too.