15 October 20
Reading time: 3 minutes
You know that uneasy feeling in the back of your mind as you’re about to buy something on a site for the first time? It’s the one you get when you’re not sure if it’s legit. What if it isn’t?
That. Would. Not. Be. Good.
One way to double-check before keying-in your card details is to look up the website itself. You want to make sure it wasn’t just made yesterday, last week or last month. Here’s how:
There are a number of ‘Whois’ sites out there to look up an internet domain or IP address. Here’s a good one: whois.com/whois.
If you key-in the Sorted website, for instance, you can easily see how long we’ve been New Zealand’s independent, impartial source for personal finance information.
Sorted has been registered since April 2001, and next year will be our 20th anniversary.
Now this is actually a quick, easy way to double-check suspicious websites. Many look like the real thing, but these days even fully functional fakes can be bought on the dark web and set up quickly by fraudsters. It doesn’t hurt to check.
The scammy ones have usually been set up recently, so by checking the registered date you can avoid the wolves digitally dressed in sheep’s clothing. Skip any sites that haven’t been around long.
When you come across something suspicious in the cyber world, be sure to report it to CERT NZ. That’s the government agency that helps us identify cyber security issues and get through when things go pear-shaped.
As part of Cyber Smart Week 2020, CERT recommends four ways to step up your defence online:
Find out more at cert.govt.nz/cybersmart.