‫ How to check if a Web site is safe

Date: 2011/08/30
It’s not safe anymore to visit a website and hope that it's safe. Even well-known websites can be compromised and used to deliver viruses and other forms of malware. Anytime a web page asks you for sensitive information, you need to be able to identify if the page is secure or not. The ability to recognize a secure web connection is extremely important. This article exlains how you can check whether a website is safe before you visit it.
Have you been phished? Whether you use a Mac, Windows, or Linux, iOS or Android, there's a real strong chance that somebody has sent you an e-mail or text message in an attempt to get at your personal information. The best recommendation I can offer is to browse smart. That means you ought to always double-check the URL of your banking site, social networking site, and e-mail site before you log in. Most browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer, now include a color-change on the left side of the location bar to indicate that the site has been verified as legitimate. It's always a good idea to type in the URL by hand, and to never follow links from an e-mail. Also, checking for HTTPS instead of the less-secure HTTP is a good idea, although HTTPS isn't foolproof.
Free online website checking services
Some antivirus provides network protection that will check the website or file is safe or not. Browser add-ons become popular too that will alert users if the page is bad or not. Most browsers will block any bad sites or unsafe downloads but you might want to see below online Services to check if a website is safe or serving malware. Add them in your bookmark or favorites so the next time you want to visit a site, you’ll get to see first if it’s not going to harm your system:
·         Google Safe Browsing – This is a service by Google. Just enter the URL at the end of http://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site= Example:
·         HpHosts Online – Steven Burn created this service to see if the site is listed as, malware or phishing site.
·         LinkScanner Online – if a site is bad, hiding exploit code or has been compromised you can use this service too.
·         Norton Safe Web – a service by Symantec to check if the site is safe or not. Links on the bad file but not clickable is listed. Users can add their review. If a site is not known as good or bad, they will review to add the rating.
·         McAfee SiteAdvisor – check if the site is safe or have malware
·         sURL - Another free service from Steven Burn. You cannot create a URL redirection if the site is known malware or listed in hpHosts database.
·         Lookout Mobile Security - will block malicious links on your Android device.
·         Mobilation Android app - will block malicious links on your Android device.
Many security suites come with browser add-ons to check links you click on the fly, and those work fairly well at scanning your search results and adding icons to indicate if a link is safe or not. Before you download a file, you might want to add the following as add-on to your browser:
·         Dr.Web Link checker – it is available for free. Required browser is Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera. Just right-click a download link and let Dr.Web check if the file that you want to download is safe or not.
·         Google Safe Browsing - extension for Firefox browser
·         Microsoft’s Windows Internet Explorer 8 has SmartScreen Filter that will check if the site is phishing site or if the file you are downloading is malicious.
·         AVG LinkScanner (Windows | Mac) - is a free add-on that works with both Windows and Mac.
Wrap up
There are several services you can use to verify a link. Google Safe Browsing is a good place to start. HpHosts gives you more-detailed information than Google Safe Browsing. Two other excellent services are Norton Safe Web, from Symantec, and Unmasked Parasites. AVG LinkScanner is a free add-on that works with both Windows and MacandAVG's free Mobilation Android app or Lookout Mobile Security will block malicious links on your Android device.


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