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Nowadays, most hackers use links, an innocent internet staple, to infect and wreak havoc on people’s machines. Malspam emails with harmful links were four times as common in 2018 than malspam emails with malicious files. Is this link safe because malicious links, however, do not just exist in emails. They may also be found in social media, messaging applications, and text communications.
Malware is the most costly cyber attack on businesses, costing them an average of $2.4 million in every attack. Take a look at this list of the top free online tools for fast assessing the safety of a link or site to help safeguard your work computer, data, and finances from malicious viruses or worms.
URLs are classified into two types:
- A standard-length URL that begins with www continues with the website name and ends with.com or another top-level domain.
- A URL shortener, such as goo.gl/V4jVrx.
Whether the link you received is a full-length URL or a reduced URL makes no difference. A link-checking tool should inform you if it is hazardous in any manner. The link checker will alert you immediately if the links lead you to a hacked website. These technologies should also indicate direct linkages to malware, ransomware, and other threats.
The safe link checker sites listed below will assist you in determining the truth about those suspect connections. To get the best results, check more than one at a time.
1. Norton SafeWeb
Norton SafeWeb, a renowned antivirus and anti-malware software supplier can evaluate any link for safety and security issues. Norton SafeWeb also describes the website’s computer dangers, identity threats, nuisance factors, and confirmation of eCommerce safety certification, which is critical for protecting your personal and financial information while purchasing items or services from the site.
2. Google Transparency Report
Google can check billions of URLs daily to discover hazardous websites using its Safe Browsing algorithm. Every day, they discover thousands of harmful websites, and they’ve learned that many of these websites are legal but also hacked. Simply enter one of a site’s links into Google’s free web tool to see if it is hacked or hazardous.
URLVoid is a service that can assess a website’s online reputation and website safety, detect fraudulent or harmful conduct, and determine whether it has ever been engaged in a virus or phishing event.
URLVoid does this by filtering links using over 30 blacklist engines and internet website reputation services. They also offer a safety report containing the blacklists used to examine the link and information about its websites, such as blacklist status, domain registration, IP address, and more.
ScanURL is an independent website that takes your link query entries seriously through a secure HTTPS connection and is another link-scanning tool to consider. Even though the spam link detector is ad-supported, the findings are satisfactory. You may also explain where you spotted the URL to assist other people in avoiding it.
ScanURL queries Google Safe Browsing Diagnostic, PhishTank, and Web of Trust for information on the site’s Whois record. The findings will immediately show if you should visit the site and include a ScanURL suggestion. If the findings indicate that the site is unsafe, avoid it.
ScanURL checks several sites (including those on this list) and tools as it compiles the findings. A permanent URL is assigned after the ScanURL result page has been loaded. You can copy and paste this for friends, relatives, or anyone concerned about using it.
Instead of focusing on viruses, PhishTank allows you to determine if a link is secure or will redirect you to a phishing site. Once you enter a URL that you suspect houses a phishing activity, PhishTank will check it out. If the link is already “in the tank,” you will see immediate results. Otherwise, a tracking number will be provided by the site. Unfortunately, checking a phishing link is more complex than automatically checking some malware connections.
Concerned about websites that may trick you into disclosing sensitive information? If you’re familiar with identity theft, you’ll know that it’s frequently the result of phishing campaigns. When determining whether a link is safe, PhishTank is always worth a look. OpenDNS operates PhishTank. Anyone may contribute to the site and check links supplied by other users.
6. VirusTotal Safe URL Checker
VirusTotal is a browser-based multi-function scanning application that examines “suspect files and URLs to detect different sorts of malware.” The scan findings are subsequently distributed to the internet security community. Simply go to the site, click the URL, copy the link, and search.
VirusTotal is a simple tool that provides immediate results. Its Android and Windows apps can also assess link safety. VirusTotal provides public and private APIs for developers. While they are restricted to non-commercial applications, they can be utilized to build your own file and link scanning tool for your website.
The dfndr lab tool from PSafe is simple to use and allows you to evaluate a connection for safety with a single click. Simply paste the URL you’re looking for from an email, web page, instant message, or another source into the search tool. To see the outcome, click Check URL.
If the website is located in the dfndr lab database, the site will tell you if you can trust it or not. If not, or if the site cannot be located, you will be advised to proceed with caution: “If you are not completely confident in the URL or website, you should not click on it.”