As you probably know, the Internet is home to a lot of scammy and fraudulent websites.
Truth be told, the percentage of “bad” sites is actually fairly low compared to the number of legitimate sites.
The problem is there are literally billions of websites on the Internet, and that means even though just a small percentage of them are “bad”, that percentage still amounts to a LOT of scam/fraudulent websites.
And every one of those bad sites is just waiting for you to drop by for a visit so they can exploit you (and/or your computer) in some way.
While there is no 100% fool-proof method for detecting every single dangerous website you might encounter, there’s a very easy way to find out with a high degree of certainty whether a given page is safe to visit.
Here’s a little reminder for you…
You can never go wrong by simply refusing to click on a link that you are unsure of. Just sayin’.
But that being said, the simple procedure detailed below can help you determine with a high degree of certainty whether a web page is safe to visit before you take the plunge and click on a link to visit the page:
1 – If you’re using a Windows or Linux PC…
Right-click on the link you want to check and then select either Copy Link, Copy link address, or Copy link location (whichever option your particular browser gives you).
If you’re using a Mac…
Highlight (i.e. select) the link you want to check with your mouse and then press the Command+C key combination.
Next, select either Copy Link, Copy link address, or Copy link location (whichever option your particular browser gives you).
2 – Visit https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/url to access VirusTotal’s URL Analyzer tool.
3 – Paste the link you copied to the Clipboard in step 1 into the tool’s Search box.
4 – Click the Magnifying Glass icon at the right side of the Search box to initiate the scan.
VirusTotal will now check the page the link is pointing to with dozens of the web’s most popular virus, malware and reputation checking tools and list the results.
If the linked page contains malware or has been reported as a phishing venue VirusTotal will report that to you.
In fact, there will probably be alerts from multiple scanners alerting you that danger is lurking on the target page.
However, if all the scans come back with a “Clean” report you can feel fairly certain that the page is safe to visit (and you can safely click the link).
But guess what? you can quickly get a second opinion about the safety of a link if you want it. Just paste the link into Google’s Safe Browsing Checker tool.
Well, that pretty much wraps it up. I hope this is a help to you.