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How to check a website's legitimacy

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How to check a website's legitimacy

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Shop but don't drop
26 replies 166.3K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
8.3K posts
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Shop but don't drop
https://www.alexa.com is a website run by Amazon, which shows ‘traffic ratings’ of other website – it’s a good way of seeing how ‘used’ a site is.  An indication of legitimacy.  It’s also possible to download a toolbar, so you see the rating each time you search a site.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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Replies

  • If you are in doubt about a website then it is also useful to find out who it is registered to.

    This can be done using various websites or programs which look up the "whois" databases for the various internet registration authorities around the world.  The most complete web based one I found is at https://www.allwhois.com.

    For example:
    [tt]
    whois bt.com

    Registrant:
    BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLC (BT-DOM)
      81 NEWGATE STREET
      LONDON, LONDON ec1a 7aj
      UK

      Domain Name: BT.COM

      Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
         British Telecommunications plc  (BS38-ORG)                [email protected]
         PP TKS/F18/01 Trunk Exchange Sth
         109-117 Long Rd
         Cambridge, Cambs CB2 2HG
         UK
         +44 1223 840711 fax: - +44 1223 358474

      Record expires on 19-Jun-2009.
      Record created on 18-Jun-1992.
      Database last updated on 5-Nov-2003 08:18:16 EST.

      Domain servers in listed order:

      DNS0.AXION.BT.CO.UK          132.146.5.1
      NS1.BT.NET                   194.72.6.52
      DNS1.AXION.BT.CO.UK          132.146.137.1
    [/tt]
  • monomermonomer Forumite
    216 posts
    Just a note on Alexa...

    Be careful - some people regard the toolbar as 'spyware' - ie. the reason how they know a site is 'used' is because it collects information on which sites you visit. You might be ok with that, but it's best to know before you install :)

    http://simplythebest.net/info/spyware/alexa_spyware.html

    (If you're at all concerned about spyware, there's a program that I recommend called Spybot Search and Destroy. However I think spyware has been covered in a different thread already so I'll shut up now :P .)
    "...And I gave that man directions, even though I didn't know the way, 'cause that's the kind of guy I am this week." -- Homer Simpson
  • SPLSPL Forumite
    268 posts
    All good stuff to know....thanks guys.
    >
  • debeastdebeast Forumite
    190 posts
    and if you're really geeky (like me) goto samspade.org
    and you can find out everything about a domain or IP address!!


    V nice when you want to track down some annoying sod that keeps spamming you! 'Cos occasionally you can ;D
    -34k to 0 from september '05
    Debt Free, Stoozing King, Shrewd spender
  • Monomer
    I`m running on WIN XP and I have tried to run SPYBOT a number of times but when it gets to about 2/3 the way through it stalls and does`nt go any further, so I have to close it down.I have tried to uninstall and re-install but it makes no difference,any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • alared: I don't have a specific answer for you as I haven't encountered the problem myself. I'd suggest that you try the Spybot S&D website for answers.

    By the way, does the scan hang during detection of "C2.lop"? If so, they have addressed this at the website here:

    http://www.safer-networking.org/index.php?lang=en&page=knowledgebase/faq/faq022

    Or else try the
    FAQ
    .

    Or maybe the Forum?

    Hope that's of use!
    "...And I gave that man directions, even though I didn't know the way, 'cause that's the kind of guy I am this week." -- Homer Simpson
  • Monomer
    Thanks a million,that was the exact problem.
    I`ve now updated from the site and fixed it.
  • EDED Forumite
    617 posts
    Traffic Rank for moneysavingexpert.com: 11,497th most visited site in the world, according to this specific Alexa page :

    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/?url=moneysavingexpert.com

    Nice.
  • This is important, although to be honest it doesn't happen very often.  If you wanna check a site's details make sure that the site isn't using 'frame-based' domain name forwarding.  By that I mean that the website can say https://www.thisisoursite.com in the url box but may actually be displaying a different site (eg https://www.butactuallythisisisoursite.com) on your page using frames.  Mostly this is quite ok, but occasionally they are trying to put you off their scent!   I got an email which I knew was a scam from what looked like ebay which linked to a website similar to https://www.ebay.co.uk which asked for all my credit card details.  When I checked I found that the site being displayed was from a Russian site used for porn which was obviously going to nick all my credit card details if I was stupid enough to put them in.

    The best way to find out whether they are using frame based forwarding is to click on view then view source (make sure you do this from your top tool bar and not right clicking on the screen)  This shows the html source of the page.  If towards the top you see something like:

    [tt]<frameset rows="100%,*">
    <frame name=forward noresize scrolling=auto MARGINWIDTH=0 MARGINHEIGHT=0 src="http://www.hiddensite.com/">
    [/tt]

    they are using frame based forwarding.  You will need to do a whois site on the site in the frame name tag (in this case https://www.hiddensite.com

    Hope that is helpful!
    Moneysaving since 2004!
  • EDED Forumite
    617 posts
    Very helpful, thanks BaritoneUK
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