Investigating Websites: Five Tools & Resources

These are some simple, easy-to-use ways of getting to know what website you’re browsing on is about and where it’s come from.

Websites are intended to be sources of ready available information for all on the Internet. However, they sometimes are not as straight-forward as one would like to think.

There are many tools that you can use to inquire behind the data and identity of a website from the domain name itself (e.g. gov.uk) , to its metadata (its personal information).

  1. A very useful website is Wayback extension, which is an internet archive that finds earlier versions of website. You can add this as an extension to your Safari or Chrome browsers.

As mentioned above, many registrars offer the ability to act as proxy contacts on the domain registration forms, a service known as “WHOIS privacy”. In such cases, domains registered with WHOIS privacy will not list the actual names, phone numbers, postal and email addresses of the true registrant and owner of the site, but rather the details of the proxy service. While this can frustrate some WHOIS queries, the lookup tool is nonetheless a powerful resource for investigating a domain.

Many websites registration systems offer to act as ‘proxy contacts’ which are known as “Whois privacy” which put simply = central database + IP data. By doing this, privacy hides the real names, number, addresses and the information of the owner of the website in exchange for a proxy service.

2. Lookup tool is a powerful way to investigative a domain name.

3. Domainbigdata.com 

This website takes free WHOIS/domain name searches. The registrant can be under a fake name but often the email address is real. As the IP address is the server that hosts the domain, this tool check verify the IP’s reputation – seeing who is on the same address. In this, an open proxy acts as the “middle man”, which means it does not encrypt information between users. In using this tool, we can find links or connections between corrupt domains.

4. DNSyltics is a pay-to-use service which connects websites together via Adsense, Google Analytics, etc. This service finds user analytics.

5. SpyonWeb analyses the web identity. 

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