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Monday, January 25, 2016

1658. Check for Valid Links in Email

How can I know if a link in an email or web page is bad before I click it?

This is an interesting question. Because of the virus scares you really want to be careful when going to websites. This is especially true when you see links on a strange web site. Even links in emails can be dangerous. 

First hover over it. Remember the link you see is not necessarily the address. The first think to look for is the actual domain portion. If the display name says it is a link to a known domain like but when you hover over it, it says the domain is you know this might be a problem. Don't click on the link.

After the domain name portion the rest of the actual link is probably irrelevant. But make sure the domain portion is something expected.

Use a Link Scanner

Link scanners are websites and plug-ins that allow you to enter the URL of a suspicious link and check it for safety. There are many free and reliable link scanners available; I suggest you try URLVoid first. URLVoid scans a link using multiple services, such as Google, MyWOT, and Norton SafeWeb, and reports the results to you quickly.

Check Out Shortened Links

URLVoid can’t properly handle shortened URLs from services such as bitly,, and TinyURL (URLVoid will scan the shortening service website instead of the link to which it points). To scan the mysterious shortlinks you’ll often find on Twitter and Facebook, use Sucuri. Sucuri automatically expands the shortlink and draws upon a handful of services, such as Google, Norton SafeWeb, and PhishTank, to determine if the real link is safe. You can also use Sucuri for scanning nonshortened links, but URLVoid checks more sources.

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