Cyber criminals use links to infect and devastate people’s devices with viruses and malware.
Previously, it was easy to spot suspicious emails or links due to typos and poor grammar in the messages. Nowadays, the creators of these phishing emails and unwanted links are doing their best to make them look as authentic as possible in order to get more people to click on their links.
Whether you received a link in a text message, email via social media, or messaging apps, a link checker can confirm whether the link is safe or dangerous. Link checkers analyze links for security issues and warn you if the link leads you to security risks such as compromised websites, malware and ransomware.
How to check if a link is safe
Here are some link checkers you can use to protect your device and your sensitive data.
Norton Safe Web
Norton Safe Web analyzes links for security or security issues to see how they affect you and your device. That way, you’ll know how safe a website is before you even look at it.
The link checker also gives you a summary of the security issues that it detects after analyzing the linked website. You can see if the website contains computer or identity threats and see evidence of security validation. This is especially important when making digital purchases as it protects your personal and financial information on the website.
To scan a link, paste the url in the search box and select the search button. & Nbsp;
Norton Safe Web scans the URL and displays a rating based on various tags. A green OK tag means the link is secure, yellow or orange means caution, while a red tag means the link is not secure.
If a link is rated with caution (yellow or orange), it means the site may have a low number of harassment and threats, but it is not considered dangerous enough to warrant a warning. Even then, be careful when opening the link.
Norton Safe Web also displays community reviews about the site so you can read what other users are saying and add your own voice to the review thread.
Norton Safe Web also offers the Safe Search </strong> and Home Chrome extensions that also test links for security before you click on them.
Google Transparency Report
Google’s Transparency Report uses Google’s Safe Browsing technology to examine billions of links to unsafe websites every day. The website exposes thousands of new unsafe websites, many of which are legitimate but compromised. This can happen when a website is infected with a virus, although the website owner may not notice it.
To check if a link is safe or dangerous, plug it into the free online tool and if the link checker detects an unsafe website it will display a warning. The tool also shows warnings in your browser or in Google search.
URLVoid is a website reputation checker that can help you identify potentially malicious websites. The service can assess the online reputation and safety of a link or website, determine whether it has ever been involved in a phishing or malware incident, and detect malicious or fraudulent behavior.
URLVoid filters links across 30+ reputation and blacklist engines from online websites. You will also receive a security report with website details including IP address, domain creation date, server location and blacklist status.
ScanURL helps you notify you of potentially fraudulent, suspicious or dangerous websites so that you can surf the Internet more safely. The service checks for malware, phishing, viruses, and a bad name using third-party services such as Web of Trust, Google Safe Browsing Diagnostic, and Phish Tank.
While ScanURL is ad supported, it produces good results that indicate whether or not you should visit the site.
If ScanURL lists the site as dangerous, avoid it. You can also tell other users where you saw the link and what makes you suspicious so that they can avoid it too.
To use the tool, enter the URL you want to review in the verification box, enter a nickname and comment, and then select the Review this URL button to start the scan.
Once the results page loads, you can copy the permanent URL.
Note : ScanURL does not follow redirected or shortened URLs.
PhishTank is a data and information clearinghouse that works differently from other link checkers in that it primarily focuses on phishing sites.
The tool will check any links that you suspect may be a phishing site. If the link is already in the tool’s database, you will get instant results.
To use PhishTank, enter the URL of the site in the search box and select the Is it a Phishing button .
If PhishTank identifies the site as a phishing site, you will receive an alert and a tracking number. You can also track the status of your submissions and review links submitted by other users.
VirusTotal is a handy online tool that analyzes suspicious URLs and files to detect different types of malware. You can enter a link and VirusTotal will search the entire page for malicious links.
The tool uses various antivirus engines to scan the site and give you instant results whether you are using a computer or mobile device. You can also scan a file, archives such as ZIP and RAR of up to 550MB, a domain or an IP address.
VirusTotal also offers a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer so that you can download links or files for viruses beforehand.
General safety tips to avoid suspicious links
If a link looks suspicious, here are some tips to help you determine if it’s safe or dangerous:
- If the URL seems too short, you can link the short URL with a browser plug-in or CheckShortURL and reveal its true target.
- Check with your bank or financial institution before opening any unsolicited email that claims to be from your bank.
- Use a url decoder to decode links with strange strings that some malware distributors use to mask the target of phishing sites or malware. The url decoding tool shows the real destination of the link.
- Enable active or real-time scanning options in your antivirus or antimalware software to detect malware before it gets inside your computer or device.
- Keep your antivirus or antimalware software updated with the latest virus definitions so that it can detect the latest threats that can infect your device. You can set the software to automatically update on a regular basis and to check the last update date to ensure that the updates are actually carried out.
Test the suspicious link without clicking on it
Whether you are using a computer or mobile device, there is a high possibility that you have received a text message or email attempting to get your personal information. A link checker allows you to double-check the URL without clicking it and see if protecting your information and devices is safe or dangerous.
Do you have a preferred tool that has suspicious links for malware or phishing? Tell us about it in a comment.
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