For most people who surf the web, they have a very limited amount of websites that they go to each day. While these websites might change over the years, most of the time the average person does not have enough time to keep visiting new websites on their own. To find out if we will enjoy a new website or not we are usually linked to it by a website that we already enjoy. And most of the time when you are on a website that you already enjoy, then the link that is going to the new website that you have never been to before will be something that you will enjoy as well. That is not how it always ends up but a good deal of the time it does.
When you are visiting these new websites you still have to be careful. While the link for the new website might be from someone who you trust, you still do not know what the website has in store for you. Even security professionals who should know better sometimes link to bad websites. So you cannot expect your friend who does not really have the skill to tell which is a good website or a bad one to be able to make sure that every link that they provide is safe. When you are clicking on a link you are taking a chance every time. While most of the time everything will be fine, there is still always that slim chance that you are on the one website that is going to really screw up your computer.
A lot of time when you end up with this type of problem it is not the owner of the website who is being malicious; it is just that his site has been compromised. The black hat hackers of the web are always on the hunt for new victims that they can take advantage of. And when you run a website you should know that. But the fact is, most of the people who run websites do not have a lot of security knowledge. They may know the very basics of how to get a website up but they do not know whether everything is fine on the security side of things. That is why as the user of the website, you have to be able to spot signs on whether there is a problem with the website or not. There is only going to be so much that you can tell but even this little bit of information can be helpful to you in the long run when it comes to staying safe.
The first thing that you should notice when you visit the site is has there been any defacement to the it? When we say defacement what we mean is there any weird messages or weird pictures on the site. This is a good first step in seeing if anyone has compromised the site or not. A lot of script kiddies like to take over a website and put a message out there for everyone to see. So if you see something that resembles that then you know that there is a good chance that they have been hacked.
Another thing that you want to look out for is any weird pop ups that seem out of place. Of course websites have pop ups all of the time but usually you can tell whether those popups are coming from the site or not. If the popup seems abnormal then you should either ask the person who runs the site or just stay away all together.
The main thing that you have to do when visiting a new site is just keep your eyes open. While you may not be a security expert, you will be able to tell when something is not right a good amount of the time.