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The internet is a dark and dangerous place. In addition to viruses and scammers, there are a lot more that could go wrong when you’re navigating the web. We often get links in our mail or other mailing platforms. Although this might be from your friends or family, you could also get messages and links from people or organizations that you aren’t familiar with.
These are often accompanied by interesting messages and deals which might look very enticing. But being just a little careful before you click on the link can avert potentially dangerous situations. Ransomware is a quickly growing risk. Malware and phishing sites are also a major risk that is going around these days.
While being vigilant all the time is the best way to avert danger, having a little backup to help you up wouldn’t hurt, that’s where link checkers come into help.
The Ideal Link Checker
There are two different types of URLs
a) A standard-length URL, which starts with www, followed by website name, and ending with .com or something else
b) A shortened URL, such as goo.gl/V4jVrx
Either of these links could do you harm and what a good link checker would do is alert you if these take you to compromised websites. This tool will also be able to report direct links to malware, ransomware, and other risks. There are several websites that allow you to check the authenticity of the links that have been sent to you, the following five give you the best results.
AVG Threatlabs scans links on a website for malware and other threats. All you have to do is enter the URL and wait for results. A list of the top five websites with the most malware detections is listed and updated every week.
This website is equipped with pasting/drag-and-drop field into which you can paste links to dodgy websites or upload suspicious files. You will get the results for your entry immediately, if you disagree with the result, clicking the ‘I disagree with scan results' button will prompt Kaspersky researchers to find out more.
This independent website accepts your link queries via a secure HTTPS connection. ScanURL polls Google Safe Browsing, PhishTank and Web of Trust and the information about the site's Whois record. The results you get will show if you should visit the site and is accompanied by a ScanURL recommendation that tells you if you need to avoid it.
PhishTank focuses on detecting phishing websites. Once you enter the link to a website, PhishTank will check it out to see if it is harboring a phishing operation. If the website is not already listed in the tank, instead of instant results, you will get a tracking number.
Google Transparency report
This service offers a standard field into which you can enter your URL into. After a few seconds, the results that appear will tell you if the site can be trusted or not.