How To Know If A Link Is Safe To Click
Links are everywhere while you browse, from downloads to streaming videos, attractive ads, offers, emails, and social media links. There is no escaping from links. It is not easy to predict all the time about its legitimacy and the sources to which it is redirecting. Out of curiosity, we often just click the link without actually being cautious.
Many time, we share links among our friends on social media platforms like WhatsApp, facebook, twitter or Instagram. But do we know how safe they are? What can happen if you click on any harmful link? We never think of these things.
- Links can drop various harmful programs, viruses on your device;
- They can steal your personal data by dropping spyware or keyloggers;
- Use your browser for crypto mining which will affect your system’s performance and many such;
Even if your device is secured with antivirus, not all of them warn you before clicking such links. And the moment you click on these, they will become big trouble for you.
What to do if you are not sure if any link is safe or not?
If you don’t know the link you are about to click is safe or is just a trick to grab your attention. ….
Then, here is the simple and quick things to keep in mind while clicking any link. After reading this article you will surely be able to judge if you should click on the link you encounter while surfing or ignore it.
How to check the URL/link carefully
Links presented to you can of these 3 types:
- A normal full-length URL that clearly shows which site it is pointing to: Just like https://www.google.com/ or http://unboxhow.com/ ,
here the “https” means the site is verified and secured with SSL certificate; Second the URL must contain the address of its website as www.websitename.com. This means the URL is exactly pointing to the same website as the URL.
- While some websites uses “shortened ” URL, such as “goo.gl”, “bit.ly”, “Owl.ly” and so on. Its little difficult to understand if these links are safe or not.
- And the third category of URL can be most unsafe in which you might be shown any URL but if you click on them it redirects you to some other page. Such URLs may even open up random websites and then finally take you to the main website.
Unfortunately, all the above category of links/URLs can be dangerous in one way or the other. Thus, it is better to check any unknown link which you encounter before actually clicking on it.
The best and quick way to check if a link is safe or not- is to use “link-scanners” or link checker tools which scans the URL and report you if it is safe or malicious. These tools also report if the link is directly or indirectly involves for distributing malware/phishing attempts and any other security risks.
5 Top URL/link scanner Services
Here is the list of 5 top URL/link scanner website which delivers quick results for free. You don’t need to register an account to use these services.
To check any link,
Hit “right-click” on the link to the pop-up context menu, then click on “Copy shortcut” or “Copy Link Location” or “Copy Link Address” depending upon the web browser you are using.
Now the URL is copied to your clipboard, then paste this URL to any of the above link checker services.
Suppose if your link is http://unboxhow.com/
Now open the Google Transparency Report
Copy the link address you want to check
Paste it in the search field and hit “Enter”. Google will scan the URL report you as safe or malicious.
How to expand a shortened URL
You can easily expand shortened URL and check its full address by using online free services like CheckShortURL or Expand URL. These will provide you the required information about the link such as its full URL, site which it redirects to and is the site safe or not.
For example https://bit.ly/2Q4NQ7v is a shortened URL, let’s scan this URL and see its test results.
This is how you can check whether a link is safe to click on not.
It is very important to be cautious while surfing and do no hurry in clicking any unknown link on the web. Also, you should make sure you have a real-time anti-virus program installed on your computer that will scan any unknown program attempts to install.
Stay informed, stay protected!!!