Here is our website checker grading scale that details how we grade a site’s health when we scan a domain with malware and illegitimate site scanners.

Disclaimer: When we grade a site’s safety, we do it using our cyber security knowledge as IT professionals. These guidelines are based on our personal recommendations and may not be the definite status of a site.

Grading Standards

Our professional website authentication grading standards are listed below.

Note: There are hundreds of possible combinations we analyze before we give a site a grade. We don’t list them all here. However, the following are some general guidelines regarding how we grade sites:

Very Safe (10)

A Very Safe site isn’t flagged by any security vendor as having malware, spam, defacements, or internal server errors. Moreover, it is clean of parasites and has not been flagged as suspicious, malicious, phishing, or blacklisted by any security vendor. Furthermore, it has minimal unresolved security header and/or protection issues. It also needs a neutral or positive community score. Lastly, a site needs a clean online reputation via URLVoid. A Very Safe grade is a pristine site from a security perspective.

Guidelines for why sites are graded as Very Safe:

  • Minimal or low security risk grade on Sucuri
  • No more than 4 hardening improvements on Sucuri (unique URLs taken into account)
  • No parasites
  • Pristine reputation on VirusTotal
  • Passed 30+ blocklist engines on URLVoid

See all: Very Safe sites.

Safe (8-9)

A Safe site is flagged as malicious or for phishing by minimal security vendors. A site with minor parasites that isn’t flagged as malicious by a security vendor may be graded as safe. A site with minor issues on Sucuri and a clean reputation on all other platforms may be graded as Safe. A site with minor issues on VirusTotal but a clean reputation on all other platforms may be graded as Safe. A community score on VirusTotal and an online reputation via URLVoid are taken into account.

Guidelines for why sites are graded as Safe:

  • Minimal or low security risk grade on Sucuri
  • No parasites
  • Not listed as malicious on VirusTotal
  • Neutral or positive community score on VirusTotal
  • Neutral or positive online reputation via URLVoid

See all: Safe sites.

Relatively Safe (5-7)

A Relatively Safe site may be flagged as malicious or for phishing by 1 or more security vendors and may have 1 or more instances of potential parasites, but is generally considered a safe site by the vast majority of online security vendors. Its parasites must be of minimal concern. It may also have other minor issues such as running outdated software that makes it vulnerable to hacks or having 403 errors that block a scan from running. Relatively Safe sites could be more secure and may show some signs of being suspicious to some security vendors but show minimal signs of being malicious. A VirusTotal community score and URLVoid online reputation are taken into account.

Guidelines for why sites are graded as Relatively Safe:

  • No worse than a medium security risk grade on Sucuri
  • Minimal parasites
  • Minimal VirusTotal issues
  • Neutral or positive reputation on urlvoid.com

Note: Sites may still be graded as Relatively Safe even if they weren’t graded as a medium security risks on Sucuri if they have numerous other issues.

See all: Relatively Safe sites.

Suspicious (2-4)

A Suspicious site may be flagged by several security vendors as malicious or suspicious, or for phishing. It may have 1 or more instances of concerning parasites. It may also have a negative VirusTotal community score and a negative URLVoid online reputation.

Reasons why sites may be graded as Suspicious:

  • Blacklisted on Sucuri
  • Concerning parasites
  • Listed as malicious or suspicious by several VirusTotal vendors
  • Bad reputation on urlvoid.com

See all: Suspicious sites.

Malicious (0-1)

A Malicious site may be flagged as malicious or for phishing by numerous security vendors. It may also have 1 or more instances of malicious parasites. It may also have a negative VirusTotal community score and a negative URLVoid online reputation.

Reasons why sites may be graded as Malicious:

  • Malware detected on Sucuri
  • Malicious parasites
  • Listed as malicious by numerous VirusTotal vendors
  • Bad reputation on urlvoid.com

See all: Malicious sites.

Is This Website Legit?

Safe Sites v Legit Sites

Generally, there are two types of website checking people search for: is a site safe and is a site legit? Those checking for safety want to know if they can visit a site without finding malware and important security issues, while those wanting to check if a site is legit want to know if they can use a site’s services without getting scammed. We give technical analysis to determine whether a site is safe and legitimate. The latter, of course, is much harder to guarantee, but our security vendors do assess for scams and illegitimate websites. These results are included in our assessment of a site before we give our final overall grade.

Important: Many readers want to know if a website is legit/whether a website is a scam. Our technical analysis does test for this. If a website is known as a scam or an illegitimate site, it will be flagged by security vendors as a social engineering (phishing) scam or simply as a malicious site.


Guidance: Many sites online are graded by us as Relatively Safe, meaning they meet the expectations of a website. We also grade many sites as Safe. It’s rarer for us to find pristine Very Safe sites. We grade sites as Suspicious if there is reason for considerable concern of a site being malicious. And we grade sites as Malicious when there is a strong reason for concern of a site being malicious.

Our commitment: Websites may change over time. We understood this before choosing to take on the ginormous task of grading the Web. We strive to update our scans annually and prioritize the ones getting the most views. If a grade needs updating, you can contact us. Our goal is to be fair and to grade the Web honestly during our time of visit.

In conclusion, that is how we grade the websites we assess for Web safety.