Check Before You Click
Did you know that many viruses and other forms of compromise can now be spread just by visiting a website? This makes it more important than ever to be careful what you click on!
Potentially harmful links can come to you from all sorts of sources including email, facebook, twitter and other social media tools, messaging apps, and more. If you use a reliable anti-virus solution, some of them may warn you, but this is not available to everyone, and not enough. Many fraudsters use URL shorteners to hide where the link will actually take you. You cannot simply avoid these tiny urls though, as they are a useful tool used for many legitimate purposes.
There are several online services which will take a link you provide (copy/paste), and either analyze it for safety, or simply expand where the shortened URL will actually take you, without taking you there. These services are quick and easy to use, and a very useful tool in your cyber security tool chest.
- https://www.virustotal.com/#/home/upload (this service will scan links or files for problems)
- https://global.sitesafety.trendmicro.com (this service will check the reputation of the domain that the link is pointing to, and provide guidance based on that)
- https://zulu.zscaler.com (this is another risk analyzer for content)
- https://linkexpander.com (straight forward link expander, see where you’re going to go, before clicking on a link)
- http://www.checkshorturl.com (straight forward link expander, see where you’re going to go, before clicking on a link)
- http://urlex.org (straight forward link expander, see where you’re going to go, before clicking on a link)
If you have more questions about these topics, please contact UTS and we’d be happy to offer what guidance we can. There is also a wealth of information to be found using your favourite search engine.