If you have never visited a website before, you do not really know what's in store for you. The only information you have at this point are the web address, the anchor tag and the source of the link.
Especially the source can provide you with insight about the link. If you trust the source, you may also trust the destination for instance, and while that is something that is usually true, it may not always be the case depending on how thorough links are vetted before they are posted on a site.
Zulu URL Risk Analyzer offers another possibility. The online scanner runs various security related checks on the selected website to report an overall score in the end.
The service runs the following checks:
Some tests like the phishing heuristics check are easily understandable, while others, like the SURBL Block checks may not. You can hover over any check performed to display a short description of it in an overlay. SURBL Block for instance checks the url against blacklists to see if it has been used for malicious activities.
Each positive check adds to the overall score of the address, that's different from most rating systems that award higher scores for better results, and lower for weaker.
It is necessary to interpret the score. The most recent scan of ghacks.net for example awarded 12 points in the url checks category based on a suspicious domain name.
The url risk analyzer can be a useful tool for webmasters who want to check their own domains, business who plan to buy a website, and system administrators as part of their regular security check.
It is not practicable to use it to check all web addresses that you plan to visit though, as it would slow down your browsing a lot. It can however be used to vet suspicious links to find out whether they are legit or malicious.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.