Q:

How can you tell if a website is reliable?

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Quick Answer

Services like WOT can help determine if websites are reliable in terms of safety. Checking websites for reliable information is a matter of avoiding sites that try to sell something and those that are biased.

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How can you tell if a website is reliable?
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Full Answer

For example, if a researcher wants reliable information, they should avoid commercial sites altogether. Basically, if a site is trying to sell something, its reliability should be questioned. This does not always mean that the site doesn’t have good information, but it does mean that there is often a conflict of interest in the site.

Website addresses that end with “.gov” or “.edu” are usually directly regulated by the government or educational institutions, so their reliability is much more likely than other types of sites. Another effective way for checking site reliability is to check the site's sources. Even if the site in question is not a governmental or educational site, if it lists sources that have these types of pages, it’s a sign that the site is more reliable. It also helps to look for any kind of emotional language in the site since this can indicate that the site has an agenda. If the site is old, this can also be a sign that its information is out of date and unreliable.

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