Stay Informed
Suggested Site

▸ Simple to add and manage gift lists for yourself, your kids, or your business

▸ Secret gift coordination

▸ Duplicate gift protection


www.FAMIGR.com
Click to see a demo
Click to see a demo
How can I help you?
Contact Jeremy

How to Avoid Bogus Websites

How Bogus Websites Are Made

It's extremely easy to make any random website look just like one you're used to. Try this: go to your favorite website and right-click the mouse over some empty space. See this menu?

Mine will probably be a little different, but you get the idea right?
Mine will probably be a little different, but you get the idea right?

One of the options is to "View Page Source" or the source code of the page you're viewing. That means I can easily cut and paste the code that makes any page look like it does. That means that if I were to register Neweg.com (which is one letter off of the real Newegg.com), I could have a completely fake, but very real looking, website waiting for you.

Once you tried to log in and I captured that information, I could redirect you to the real site and you'd never know the difference until I had made a bunch of purchases in your name (I'll be talking about shopping online in later sections of this guide).

The two main ways to get you to my new trap-site are Phishing and somewhat (though far less common) misspelled addresses.

Misspelled Addresses

I already talked about phishing e-mails in my other guide, so let me explain the other. Say you were to buy a website domain that sounds like or is just a few letters off of a major website. Either that or you register a site with the same name, but different ending.

Do you think there's a big difference between Hotmail.com (Microsoft's e-mail website) and Hotmale.com (Gay XXX hardcore)? Yes there is. There's also a big difference between Whitehouse.gov and Whitehouse.com

No porn here
No porn here
Not something you want to find accidentally
Not something you want to find accidentally

In these cases, you might embarrass yourself at work or when trying to show the kids how to get involved in the political process, but these aren't going to drain your bank account. But the reason I bring it up is that you can use the same trick to defend against both of these problems.

The Search Engine Trick

Uh oh.... heading for trouble here.
Uh oh.... heading for trouble here.

So whether phishing to a site that's really going to rob you or misspelling your way to something really embarrassing, the solution is the same. Sure you can use your known-safe bookmarks to get to your major websites and services, but my recommendation is for when you type an address directly into your address bar.

Instead of typing addresses directly, type the site you want into a search engine instead? Sound like a pain? Well, let me give you three good reasons why this is a good idea:

Get the search engine involved!
Get the search engine involved!

1. Fakes Don't Float

No fakes to be found
No fakes to be found

If the thing you're going to is a major site of any kind, it will always be listed in the first few links. Banks, webstores, charities, etc. Search engines make money by helping you find real stuff and culling the fake. In other words, it's their job to make sure you never see a bogus site in a search listing (certainly not on the front page).

2. Malware Protection

Google at least (and probably others) have built-in protections to help keep you away from bad sites. If you do accidentally click a link that leads somewhere bad, Google will attempt to stop you with a warning like this:

Stop! Don't proceed!
Stop! Don't proceed!

What this means is that Google has already checked the site for bad stuff and found it. Proceed at your own risk!

3. Site Scanner Functions

You see those cute green check-mark icons at the end of all my results? That's a function of my Anti-Virus which has a function that tests search results for safety. If the linked site is a known bad-guy, it warns me with a yellow or red icon instead.

Yellow is bad and red is worse
Yellow is bad and red is worse

When you see the different colors, you can click them for details, but generally, it's best to avoid anything that isn't green. Many anti-virus programs have this feature.

Summary

Once you're sure you're on the right webpage, bookmark it if you want, but any time you're tempted to type a url, take a second and click the home button or open a new window (which opens with your homepage) and type it into a search engine instead.

The three great protections against bad sites listed above only work if you use a search engine and not when typing a website address directly.

Guide Navigation
|INDEX|next: Online Addiction

General Safety

Avoid fake and nasty websites with my search engine trick.
Watch out for online addiction. Getting lost in fun online activities can be just as addiction as any drug.
So you want to write, publish, or share information online? Be careful. Things you say may be lost or forgotten, but things put on the Internet never are.
Don't fall for the well-known (or the new scams either) bad guys use to trick you into give away data or money.

Account Protection

Want to make an account with some online service? Read this first!
The newest, biggest risk online? Account hijacking! Don't become a victim by allowing your account to be taken over and learn to recognize when someone else has been.
Be sure transmission security is active before entering a name, password, credit card number, or other important information online.
IDENTITY THEFT
How to Steal Identities - Why It's So Easy
Credit Freeze
Data Defense
Credit Monitoring
Id Theft Insurance
The Identity Theft Victim's Mini-Guide to Recovery
PRIVACY
The Geek Privacy Principle
Nothing to Hide
Data Abuse
RFID - Radio Frequency IDentification
Privacy Alias/Persona
Data Defense
INTERNET SAFETY
Online Addiction
The Consequences of Posting Online
Photo Safety
Tricks and Scams
Account Hijacking
Trusting Companies
PASSWORDS
Bad Passwords
Password Tips and Tricks
Password Protection
Password Mugging
Computer Security
E-mail Safety
Kids and Computers
Shopping Online
Retailers
All About Warranties

Phishing

By far the most dangerous thing you'll find in e-mails is a lie. Sending a bogus e-mail to someone is generally called phishing, but can also be referred to as a Nigerian scam (depending on the goal of the e-mail). Learn to recognize and deal with phishing before it's too late.

[Click for full description]

Anti-Virus

A virus can come from files, e-mails, web pages, or even devices you plug in (like thumbdrives or printers) and destroy your files or your computer once they get in. An anti-virus is software designed to detect and prevent that from happening.

[Click for full description]

How to Avoid Bogus Websites

There are bogus websites out there hoping you'll hit them by accident or using phishing to trick you into coming to them. Learn my simple trick to avoid these sites!

[Click for full description]

Online Addiction

Concerned about online addiction? You should be. Learn the types, the signs, and the preventions.

[Click for full description]

The Consequences of Posting Online

It's fun to post online. What you think, what you feel. But words typed and posted on the Internet can come back to bite you more than anything you could say with your mouth.

[Click for full description]

Tricks and Scams

Just because you won't willing give up data doesn't mean that I can't trick you out of it. Don't fall for these well known tricks!

[Click for full description]

Account Creation Tips

When you create an account with an online site, you should know a few things first.

[Click for full description]

Account Hijacking

One of the newest threats we face is the risk of someone getting control of your online account and using it against you and the people you know. Do everything you can to prevent that from happening!

[Click for full description]

Using HTTPS For Secure Login and Payment Online

Making online accounts is useful and fun, but doesn't mean much if someone can capture your login information and use it against you. Make sure to use this simple trick to prevent that from happening.

[Click for full description]