- Navigation is based on links, but what happens when those links don’t inspire trust?
- Scammers take advantage of all kinds of devices to hide themselves, such as shortened links
- What tools are available to us to confirm or rule out these threats?
The security of users on the Internet has become a central axis of the discussions that take place almost daily. As more and more aspects of our lives are decided online, In these times of so many viruses and cyber attacks, it is essential to know how to check a suspicious link without having to open it first..
In the end, we usually get the classic recommendation that we should never open a link that looks suspicious. This does not mean that indeed all of them are. And if we assume that situation, either we will have to open it, risking suffering the consequences, or we will have to let it go, which is no less dangerous.
And while there are some very simple tricks, such as checking untrustworthy links by hovering over them or, on mobile, long-pressing on the link, many people do not know these procedures nor have they just been useful to them, in case they have to enter that portal.
Suspicious links proliferate on the web
The fact is that all of us have been exposed, in different circumstances, to a suspicious web link. Those who have more knowledge on the matter or unfortunately have discovered the risk that they run in their own flesh, will probably hesitate before opening it. But others will not even think about the consequences of these acts.
for worse, hackers develop all kinds of malware capable of disguising themselves to deceive us. Suspicious links often come from the very people we trust the most.
The good news we have to give you is that, although there may be some delay, whenever there are problems online, solutions appear. Y In these cases that we are commenting on, there are several interesting tools.
How to check an unreliable link?
As we said, whenever a questionable link is presented to you, the simplest way to review it is to carefully hover over it or, on mobile, press and hold on it to access a preview. Eventually, you will have a first screenshot of the content, and that will allow you to judge their intentions.
This is important because on more than one occasion the deception is in the anchor text, that is, the “visible” text. Try for example entering Islabit.com or Google is. In both cases you entered islabit.com, and that’s because even when the anchor text is different, the link they lead to is the same. If you apply the two tutorials for previews that we just discussed, you will always see where the link actually goes.
Beware of shortened links
They are not so common anymore, but for a time – in which the limitations of the Internet required the use of few characters – it was common to use and abuse shortened links. That is why, in general, we trust having one in front of us. Let’s see it with an example. if you enter shorturl.at/jtIJQ you will be redirected, again, to islabit.com.
Not all short links may be evil, but you should be suspicious of all the ones you come across. In addition, they limit the ability to access previews, which is why it is common for scammers to use them.
It is essential then that you save a couple of instruments on your PC, checkshorturl.com Y unshorten.it. Using them, you will be able to “unshorten” the shortened linksto see what the hidden addresses are.
I still don’t know if a link is trustworthy, what do I do?
If you have not solved it with the above, there are multiple online tools that could collaborate in this regard. First, in all cases, you will need the address to which the link is directed, in order to do the tests.
You can get it in just a second right clicking on the link and Copy link address. It will depend on the browser you use, but in general the vast majority of them will allow you to copy the address like this.
With the link in the clipboard you will go to urlvoid.com and you’re going to paste it, to get a report on its content. You can get an idea of what these reports look like by looking at the one we did ourselves, below:
If what you are worried about is not so much viruses or malware, but phishing, there are tools like phishtank.com. It basically works the same way, as you have to paste the link to parse it and see what it tells you.
With all this, we are sure that you will be able to deal with suspicious links better than before.