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Spot Bad Sites a Mile Away

What to watch out for so you aren't scammed

You’re much safer online if you deal only with sites you trust. Look for a couple of things, including the following, to help you identify trusted websites.

Check before you click. Use a tool that lets you know before you click a website if it is likely to download malware or spam. These tools display a rating to indicate whether they are known to be a safe site or if they are likely to give problems such as downloading malware, putting you on a spam list or making you a target of fraud. Both Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers offer free tools to help warn users about questionable websites Additionally, some security suites, such as premium versions of McAfee, include strong website reputation tools.

Is the site listed with the BBB? or rated by other website rating services? If it is topic specific (such as a medical site), does it have association approval?

Before entering your information on any site, look for the site’s privacy policy. It should answer your questions about how it treats personal information, how it uses your information, whether it gives third parties access to your information, how accurate the information on its website is, what level of security it implements, and so on. If you can’t easily find the site’s privacy policy, go elsewhere!

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