We’ve all done it; mouse-finger hovering over a link that looks a little fishy, you’re wondering: am I going to get a virus by clicking this?
While the majority of long URLs used in spam emails can be dismissed as immediately suspicious, if you’re not sure, you can use website reputation checker tool like URLVoid which will scan any URL you paste into their search against a series of reporting services. This will let you know if the destination of the link you’re considering clicking is trustworthy or not.
Unfortunately, malware distributors and phishers are big fans of using link shortening services such as bitly and others, to conceal the true destinations of their links. Luckily, before you click on that random short link you saw on Facebook, Twitter, or in your email, you can use a link expansion service like CheckShortURL to learn where most short links lead without having to compromise your online security. You simply copy and paste the link you want to check out into the CheckShortURL search field, and it will show you the intended destination of the short link, without you having to visit it.
Your first best defence against online intrusions will always be keeping your malware/antivirus software current and up to date, but to quell any click-anxiety, an URL checker can be enormously useful.