13 tips on how to spot fake news


  1. Clickbait - be skeptical of clickbait headlines. Pop-ups and banner ads are a tell tale sign.

  2. Check the URL - the web address may LOOK like the BBC website, but is it? Fake news websites will have a discrepancy in the web address. Find it.

  3. Website icon - look for the official website icon in the web address. If it does not exist, or looks different, it is fake. Can you spot which one below is fake?

  4. WHOIS lookup - is this a reputable website? Read the “about” section and check the website domain using a WHOIS lookup, such as http://whois.domaintools.com

  5. Investigate the source - is a source provided?  If so, check it.

  6. Formatting - spelling mistakes, ALL CAPS, swear words or dramatic punctuation??!!!!

  7. Reverse image search - use Google Images or TinEye to reverse image search photos. We live in a world of Photoshop, don’t always believe what you see!

  8. Check the date - sound familiar? Old stories are often resurrected…

  9. Check the evidence - is anyone quoted in the story? Again, check the source.

  10. Reputable sharing - has the story been shared by reputable news websites?

  11. Satire - is the story a joke? Some stories are intentionally false.

  12. Fact checking - if in doubt, use a fact-checking website, such as http://factcheck.org or http://www.politifact.com

  13. News explorer - IBM Watson News Explorer is a good source of the latest news headlines: http://news-explorer.mybluemix.net

To learn more about identifying fake news and website hacking, sign up to our OSINT course here: https://www.chenegaeurope.com/osint-training/