How to check the safety of a link before clicking it
There is really no such thing as being too careful online. Around virtually every corner seemingly lies another threat. No matter whether the threat is malware, adware or ransomware, the basic rule of thumb is safety first. One of the best ways to minimize threats to your computer is to simply be certain the link you are about to click does not lead to a malicious download, or a phishing site. Here are a few tips about how to check the safety of a link before clicking it.
Some obvious reminders deserve some attention first. Beware of shortened links. Links that are shortened by services like Bitly and TinyURL are often used by those with bad intent to mask the true identity of malware distribution sites. Free services like Untiny will extract the original URL from a shortened link for your pre-click perusal and consideration.
Do not click on links in an email, especially links that are contained in an unsolicited (spam) email. When in doubt, just visit your account-holder’s web site by typing their web address directly into your web browser’s address bar instead of clicking the link in an email. Configure your email client to display emails as plain text instead of HTML. This lets you inspect the exact link in the email’s body rather than clicking on hyperlinked text.
Scan a link with Websense® ACE Insight
One good choice is to use the free Websense ACE Insight tool below to scan a link or IP address before you click it.
Add the free Websense® ACE Insight Widget to your own web site if you like it so your visitors can do the same. Input a link or IP address, and after a short time, an ACE Insight Report is generated for the link you input. The report includes a Threat Severity rating for the site, Site Classification, and details about the scanned site, like its IP address and hosted country. The bread and butter of the scan is contained in a Security Overview within the report. A real-time security identification reviews threat specifics, if any exist. The overview also displays the number of outbound links within the destination URL, the number of malicious links that may be present there, and a security analysis history. This tool can also be used to un-shorten links. Use the ACE Insight Portal to analyze a link too.
Check a link at the TrendMicro Site Safety Center
The Site Safety Center at TrendMicro scores a checked web site based upon a number of variables. URLs that you check are scored as Safe, Dangerous, Suspicious or Untested. It is a free service.
Get a site’s rating from Norton Safe Web
Norton Safe Web assigns a Norton Rating to the site address you input, and includes the rating in a Safe Web Report. The rating report is free, and includes the web site’s location, a summary of threats, and ecommerce safety information. Also displayed is a separate rating provided by the Norton Safe Web community of site owners.
Scan a site with Sucuri SiteCheck
Sucuri SiteCheck is a free, remote scanner. It checks the website you scan for malware, errors, blacklisting, and out-of-date software. Once the scan has completed, a report displays the results of the scan, website details like links, scripts, iframes, and web server information, and a blacklist status from multiple blacklisting services.
Take the extra moment to check a suspicious link against any or all of these free services. It just might save some headache and hassle down the road. Thank you for visiting Tech Help Knowledgebase to learn how to check the safety of a link before clicking it.