How to Check If a Link Is Secure Before Clicking It
Have you ever received a suspicious link in an email, a message, or a social media post? How can you tell if it is safe to click or not? Clicking on a malicious link can expose you to malware, ransomware, phishing, and other online threats. Fortunately, there are some tools that can help you check if a link is secure before clicking it.
In this article, we will introduce you to some of the best link checkers that can scan any URL for safety and security. We will also give you some tips on how to avoid risky links and protect your online privacy.
What Is a Link Checker?
A link checker is a tool that analyzes a URL and determines if it leads to a safe or dangerous website. A link checker can also provide you with information about the website’s reputation, content, and certificates. Some link checkers can even detect if a website has been hacked or compromised.
There are two types of links that you may encounter online: standard-length URLs and shortened URLs. A standard-length URL starts with www, followed by the website name, and ends with .com or some other top-level domain. A shortened URL is a condensed version of a long URL that uses a service like bit.ly or goo.gl.
Shortened URLs can be useful for saving space and making links more readable, but they can also hide the true destination of the link. This can make it easier for scammers and hackers to trick you into clicking on malicious links. Therefore, it is important to use a link checker that can reveal the original URL behind a shortened link.
How to Use a Link Checker?
Using a link checker is very simple. All you need to do is copy the URL that you want to check and paste it into the link checker’s field. Then, click on the scan button and wait for the results. The link checker will display a rating and a summary of the link’s safety and security.
Some of the best link checkers that you can use are:
- Norton Safe Web: This is a service from online security giant Norton that scans websites for malware, viruses, phishing, and other threats. You can also see community reviews and ratings about the website’s trustworthiness. Norton Safe Web also offers browser extensions that add safe search functionality to your Chrome address bar and search engine results.
- ScanURL: This is an independent website that checks links for safety via a secure HTTPS connection. It uses multiple sources to analyze the URL, such as Google Safe Browsing, PhishTank, Web of Trust, and more. You can also provide an explanation of where you saw the URL to help other users avoid it.
- Sucuri SiteCheck: This is a free tool offered by Sucuri, a company that specializes in security services for websites. SiteCheck will scan websites for security issues, including malware, viruses, malicious code, spam, blacklisting, and more. It will also give you information about the website’s server, IP address, SSL certificate, and content management system.
How to Avoid Risky Links?
While using a link checker can help you verify if a link is secure before clicking it, it is not foolproof. Sometimes, a link may appear safe but still lead to a harmful website. Therefore, it is always better to be cautious and follow some best practices when dealing with links online.
Some of the tips that you can use to avoid risky links are:
- Don’t click on links from unknown or untrusted sources: If you receive an email, a message, or a social media post from someone you don’t know or trust, don’t click on any links they send you. They may be trying to lure you into a scam or infect your device with malware.
- Check the spelling and grammar of the link: Sometimes, scammers and hackers use typos or misspellings to create fake websites that look similar to legitimate ones. For example, they may use paypa1.com instead of