How Can I Tell if a URL Is Safe?

You’ve probably heard someone talk about downloading a URL or been asked to click on a link to a URL, without really knowing what that URL stands for or whether the link is safe.

A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, refers to a specific resource on the internet – like house and street information refers to an address.

So how can  you tell if a URL or website is safe?

Today, if you aren’t using a tool or service that will identify malicious sites, you will eventually land on a site that is riddled with malware and will pass that malware onto your computer, tablet, laptop or phone.  But you can avoid falling victim to malware by selecting one of several tools that will test the safety of a website before you visit it.

Here is an outline of your two primary tools for identifying safe and malicious websites:

      1. Use tools that check the safety and security of websites automatically as you browse.
        • All common browsers have tools that are designed to warn you if a URL/link is malicious.
        • Many security software packages also offer this type of functionality.
        • There are also independent tools you can download to monitor URLs in search results. Many of them are free.
      2. Use an online service that lets you enter a URL and will go out and test the link in real time to see if it contains any malware or is safe to use. The downside of these services is that you have to manually run this process every time you want to visit an unknown website, the advantage is that you don’t have to install any software on your computer.

While these tools do not replace your need to have security software installed and up to date on every one of your internet-connected devices, they will help you significantly reduce the risk of infecting your devices, having your identity stolen by malware or losing control over your passwords and banking authentication tools.

INTERNET SAFETY TIPS

Online Shopping & Banking
10 Tips to Safer Shopping
Avoiding Internet Crooks
Bank Online Safely
Benefits of E-books
Identity Theft Rights
Identity Theft Tax Scams
Online Auction Sites
Online Classifieds - Buying
Online Classifieds - Selling
Secure Social Engineering
Digital Family Life
Addictions and ADHD
Betrayal Online
Child Online Privacy
Children & Anorexia
Children & Inappropriate YouTube Videos
Children and Internet Advertising
Children's Photos Online
Cyberbullying Tips
Dating Online Safely
Digital Dating
Digital Literacy
Family Time
Healthy Digital Family Life
High Risk Behaviors
Impact On Children
Internet Gambling
Internet Pornography
Kids & Online Gaming
Kids Posting on YouTube
Kids’ Mobile Apps
Make Money Websites
Online Gaming & Children
Online Quizzes & Surveys
Oversharing Information Online
Protecting from Predators
Read the Fine Print
Respect Online
Risky Behavior
Safe Online Photo Sharing
Safety & Social Networks
Social Networking and Friction
Teaching Privacy
Teen Asking for Validation?
Too Much Time Online
Video Games
PC Security
Argument with a troll
Block Pornography
Bots, Botnets And Zombies
Coupon Safety
Safe Linking & Attachments
Safe URLs
Search & Collected Info
Search vs Research
Secure Websites
What is Antivirus?
What is Phishing?
Getting Started
Beginners Tips
Email Hacking
Identify Theft
Malicious Software
Organize Net News
Sending Email
Strong Passwords
Technology Overload
Cyberbullying & Online Predators
Bullying
Cyberbullied
Cyberbullying Help
Cyberincident Response
Family Blogging
Harassed Online
Online Predators
Online Safety
Recognize a Cyberbully
Report Cyberbullying to Police
Report Cyberbullying to Schools
Safety: Pornography
Mobile Security
Cell Phone & Driving
Cell Phone Theft
Mobile Law Enforcement
Mobile Protection
Mobile Sexting
Parents & Cell Phones
Sexting
Tweets Archived
Ethics & Legal
Cheating & Technology
Cite Sources and Avoid Plagiarism
Download Music & Videos
Ethics
Facebook Passwords
Internet Addiction
Internet Content Copyrights
Kids & Impersonation
Netiquette
Online Impersonation
Societal Digital Piracy Costs
Managing your Online Reputation
Online Reputation
Protect Your Online Content
Protecting Privacy on Google
Teens & Reputation